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Negligence causes nearly half of fires last year: fire chief

The Fire Services Bureau (CB) announced Thursday it extinguished 1,034 fires last year, 3.7 percent less than in the previous year, nearly half of which were caused by negligence.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

The Fire Services Bureau (CB) announced Thursday it extinguished 1,034 fires last year, 3.7 percent less than in the previous year, nearly half of which were caused by negligence.

Leong Iok Sam, the city’s top firefighter, announced the 2017 fire statistics during an annual meeting with the press at the CB headquarters in Nam Van.

Leong said that 482 fires, or 46.6 percent of the total number of fires, were caused by negligence, such as forgetting to turn off stoves and burning joss papers. There were also six suspected cases of arson last year.

He noted that the data from the last five years averaged 1,080 fires annually.

According to the data released, ambulances were sent out 39,613 cases, up 2.5 percent year-on-year. He said that last year’s figures showed that the bureau’s effort to tackle the abuse of the ambulance service has been effective.

When asked by the media how the bureau would improve its performance in response to Super-Typhoon Hato, Leong said that the bureau would reinforce its equipment with an additional 116 electric saws, 69 water pumps, 11 generators, and seven inflatable rescue boats. He pointed out that the bureau would carry out more drills in response to natural disasters like Hato.

At the press conference, Leong also said there will be a new fire station with 75 fire-fighters on the artificial island where the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge border checkpoint will be located, adding that the bureau plans to carry out drills before the mega-bridge’s opening to deal with any possible accidents.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

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