High humidity triggers more lift malfunctions

Friday, April 2, 2010
Issue 979, Page 2
Word count: 526
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The unusually high humidity levels in recent months did not only bring people moldy ceilings, but also malfunctioning lifts that led to a double increase in the number of rescue services rendered by the fire brigade.

The Fire Services Bureau held a press conference at its Sai Van headquarters yesterday to announce the statistics of its operations and to promote fire prevention measures for the upcoming Ching Ming Festival on April 5.

Divisional Fire Officer Lam Io Fan said between January 1 and February 28 this year, the fire brigade rendered all kinds of services to a total of 5,256 cases, up by 223 or 4.6 percent when comparing with the same period of 2009.

Of which, 224 were fire calls, increased slightly by three cases or 1.4 percent.

Paramedic ambulance services were also rendered 4,684 times in the reporting period, representing a 2.3 percent growth against the same period of 2009.

Rescue calls also accounted for 140 cases, jumped nearly 23 percent from 114 cases reported between January and February last year.

Lam Io Fan said the significant growth in rescue calls were mainly attributed to lift malfunctions.

Cases of people having been trapped in elevators soared 135 percent to 47 in the reporting period. Lam said it was believed that the relatively high humidity levels during January and February were the cause of the accidents.

The Fire Service Bureau has already been holding seminars in collaboration with neighbourhood associations to explain the impact of such kind of weather conditions, Lam Io Fan added.

In addition, in regard to fire prevention promotion, the bureau held 11 seminars which attracted a total of 839 people to participate.

Three publicity events were organised where 3,000 leaflets, posters and fire prevention guides were given away to the public.

As well, five fire drills were conducted and 765 people were evacuated.

Since the number of fire calls grew only three cases in the latest statistics, the Divisional Fire Officer said it showed that “the bureau’s fire prevention work has been effective and residents have been cooperative in order to keep the number down and steady”.

Since the Ching Ming Festival is just around the corner, the Fire Services Bureau is urging people to be aware of fire. Fire vehicles will be sent to standby around graveyards or other areas prone to fire accidents on that day.

The Ching Ming Festival is an opportunity for people to remember and honour their ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, joss paper accessories, and libation to the ancestors.

Lam Io Fan said the number of fire accidents occurred in the festival over the past few years remained steady and most of them were caused by burning paper offering.

On the other hand, the bureau also reminded people to be cautious when using electrical appliances in humid weather.

“Dehumidifiers should be switched off when no one is at home. The gas system and other appliances also need to be off and away from electricity supply especially televisions and computers during the Easter holidays when people go on holidays,” Lam added.

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