Common Fire Code Violations in Malaysia & How to Avoid Them

the upper floors of the skyscraper are on fire

In Malaysia, fire code regulations protect lives and property from the devastation caused by fires. However, fire code violations often occur due to a lack of awareness or negligence.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common fire code violations in Malaysia and provide practical tips to help you avoid them.

Why Fire Code Compliance is Necessary

When it comes to fire safety, Malaysia takes a comprehensive approach with a robust set of fire codes and regulations.

While these codes may seem like a burden to some, their importance cannot be overstated.

1. Protection from Collateral Damage

According to the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, there were over 30,000 fire incidents in 2023 alone.

It had resulted in billions of ringgits in property damage and, tragically, numerous fatalities.

While fires can occur anywhere, many of these incidents could have been prevented or mitigated with proper fire safety measures in place.

Thus, ensuring compliance with fire codes is crucial for protecting lives, property, and businesses from the devastating consequences of fires.

2. Addressing Potential Fire Hazards

Fire codes are designed to address a wide range of potential fire hazards.

From ensuring adequate means of evacuation to mandating the installation and maintenance of fire protection systems, they encompass every fire trigger.

Fire codes also cover areas such as the storage and handling of flammable materials, electrical safety, and emergency response procedures.

For example, fire codes specify the required number and placement of fire extinguishers based on the size and occupancy of a building.

They also outline requirements for emergency lighting and signage to facilitate safe evacuation during a fire or power outage.

3. Business Continuity

For business owners and property managers, fire code compliance is also a matter of protecting their investments and ensuring business continuity.

A single fire incident can result in substantial property damage, costly repairs, and lost revenue due to temporary closures or relocations.

By prioritising fire safety and adhering to codes, businesses can mitigate these risks. They can also demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of their employees, customers, and the community.

4. Avoid Legal Liabilities

Fire codes in Malaysia are legally binding, and failure to comply can result in significant fines and penalties.

Building owners and managers can be held liable for any losses or injuries resulting from non-compliance with fire codes.

Adhering to these codes not only protects lives and property but also helps avoid legal implications and potential lawsuits stemming from negligence.

Read more: Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan Malaysia: 5 Key Components to Consider


What are the Common Fire Code Violations in Malaysia?

1. Obstructed Fire Exits

One of the most frequently cited violations is the obstruction of fire exits, including exit doors, corridors, and stairwells.

Blocked exits can create disastrous bottlenecks and prevent a swift evacuation during emergencies.

It’s crucial to keep these areas clear of any clutter, furniture, or other obstacles that could hinder easy passage.

2. Lack of Operational Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are essential first-response tools in the event of a small, contained fire.

Unfortunately, lack of adequate, properly mounted, and regularly serviced fire extinguishers is common in many buildings.

An inoperative or inaccessible extinguisher can render it useless when it’s needed most.

3. Inadequate Emergency Lighting and Signage

Proper emergency lighting and signage are critical for safe evacuation during a fire or power outage.

Fire code violations in this area can include burned-out emergency lights, missing exit signs, and lack of illumination in evacuation routes.

Without proper lighting and signage, occupants may become disoriented or trapped in the event of a fire.

4. Faulty Fire Alarm Systems

A well-functioning fire alarm system is essential for alerting occupants of potential fire hazards and initiating evacuation procedures.

Violations may include disabled or improperly maintained alarm systems, lack of regular testing, or inadequate audibility throughout the building.

A malfunctioning fire alarm system can delay emergency response and put lives at risk.

5. Improper Storage of Flammable Materials

The improper storage of flammable materials, such as gasoline or chemicals, can greatly increase the risk of fires and explosions.

Fire code violations may include storing these materials too close to ignition sources, lack of proper ventilation, or exceeding maximum quantity limits.

Read more: Fire Hazard Awareness in Malaysia: Why Is It Important?

How to Avoid Fire Code Violations in Malaysia?

Proactive measures and best practices adherence can help you avoid fire code violations and ensure the safety of your premises.

1. Conduct Regular Fire Safety Inspections

One of the best ways to identify and address potential fire hazards is to conduct regular fire safety inspections.

This can be done by a qualified professional or a designated safety officer within your organisation.

During these inspections, pay close attention to areas such as fire exits, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, and the storage of flammable materials.

You can also create a checklist to ensure that all critical fire safety components are thoroughly inspected and document any issues found.

2. Keep Fire Exits Clear

Maintaining clear and unobstructed paths to all emergency exits, stairwells, and corridors is essential for safety.

Regular checks should be performed to ensure these areas are free from obstacles that could hinder swift evacuation.

It’s also important to:

  • Enforce a strict policy that prohibits the storage of items in fire exits and evacuation routes.
  • Install signage or floor markings can help clearly identify these critical areas.

3. Maintain Fire Protection Systems

Fire alarm systems, sprinklers, and extinguishers are essential components of any fire safety plan.

Ensure that these systems are regularly inspected, tested, and maintained by qualified professionals.

Additionally, service fire extinguishers annually and train building occupants in their proper use.

Keep detailed records of all inspections, testing, and maintenance activities related to your fire protection systems.

This documentation can help demonstrate compliance and identify any potential issues that need to be addressed.

4. Handle Flammables with Care

Follow strict guidelines for the storage and handling of flammable materials, including proper labelling, ventilation, and separation from ignition sources.

If you’re an organisation or a business, provide comprehensive training to staff members responsible for handling the materials to mitigate the risks.

Furthermore, consider installing fire-rated storage rooms or cabinets for larger quantities of flammable.

5. Develop Emergency Response Plans

Having a well-documented emergency response plan is essential for ensuring the safety of occupants in the event of a fire.

This plan should include evacuation procedures, designated assembly areas, and clear roles and responsibilities for key personnel.

You can also conduct regular fire drills to test and reinforce your emergency response plan.

They help identify potential areas for improvement and ensure that all occupants are familiar with the appropriate actions to take during an emergency.

Read More: A Simple Guide to Fire Extinguisher for Business in Malaysia

Safeguard Against Fire Code Violations with Palcon

Fire safety is an ongoing responsibility. Regular inspections and adherence to fire codes are crucial for maintaining safety and minimising risks.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – make fire safety a top priority today with Palcon and our suite of fire detection and suppression solutions:



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