Fires continue to occur in densely populated areas of DKI Jakarta. There is still a lack of public awareness of the causes of fires that are rife, making the frequency of fires in Jakarta not decrease. Some fires also have no definite cause and are still under further investigation. In the last 1 month from June 2022 to July 2022 there were a number of fires that occurred in DKI Jakarta with one of the causes being a short circuit in electricity and some of the causes were unknown. The list of fatalities from each fire is also not known with certainty while the total losses reach more than tens of millions in each fire case. Some of the fires include:
Fire Occurs in front of the Kemayoran Athlete Hospital, 14 units of fire trucks were deployed (Suara.com, 15 June 2022, Stefanus Arandito)
A number of residential buildings in front of Wisma Atlet, Kemayoran or on Jalan Sunter Muara, Sunter Agung, Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, caught fire on Tuesday (14/6/2022) at around 23:52 WIB. The Fire Department immediately deployed 14 fire engines and 70 personnel to extinguish the fire. Fire fighting can be done in 15 minutes. However, firefighters have not been able to determine the cause of the fire. It is not yet known whether there were any injuries or fatalities in the accident.
Computer Room in Asabri Building on fire, allegedly due to electrical short circuit (Kompas, 20 June 2022, Pompe Sinulingga)
Fire in the computer the Asabri Building on the 5th floor on Jalan Mayjen Sutoyo, Cawang Village, Kramat Jati District, East Jakarta, Sunday 19 June 2022 at 07.36 WIB.
The fire was suspected to have been caused by a short circuit. The fire was detected at 07.00 WIB by building technicians. Joint security technicians who were on the scene tried to put out the fire using a PFE. 6 fire engines were dispatched to extinguish the fire. The fire can be localized at 07.47 WIB and extinguished at 09.13 WIB. There were no fatalities in the fire, but the loss was around 200 million rupiah.
Fire in Cempaka Sari Area, Central Jakarta, Scorched Resident's House Building (PMJ news, 26 June 2022, Abdul Wahab)
Fire in Cempaka Sari 5 area, Central Jakarta on Sunday 26 June 2022. The fire occurred at around 15.18 WIB which burned residents' houses. Efforts from the fire department continued. The fire can be extinguished in no time. A total of 19 firefighters were dispatched to extinguish the fire. However, the police have not yet determined the death toll and some of the losses caused by the fire.
1 house and 7 boarding houses in Matraman Fire due to electric short circuit (Tempo, 2 July 2022, Arrijal Rachman)
A house and 7 boarding houses in Jalan Kramat Asem Kecil, RT 17, RW 10, Utan Kayu Utara, Matraman, East Jakarta, on July 1, 2022 at 22.50 WIB. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit. The fire started in the back of one of the houses.
The burned area is about 162 m2. As a result of this fire, the owner of the building suffered a loss of around Rp. 648 million. 15 fire fighters with 75 personnel were deployed. The fire was extinguished after 1 hour of the extinguishing process.
From several fire cases that occurred over the past 2 weeks, it can be seen that fires are more common in densely populated residential areas that have very narrow distances between buildings. Although in some cases the cause is unknown, electric short circuit still dominates as the cause of fire in other cases.
Fires that occur in densely populated residential areas will spread more easily due to the close distance between buildings. One of the factors for spreading fires to other buildings is the delay in handling when the fires are still small.
Usually a fire that occurs in a household will be caused by a short circuit of electric current, a chipped electrical cable, burning the material around it. Usually this burning will be in the form of a smoldering fire, where the burning is not directly in the form of a flame but smoldering. This fire can be the reason why fires in households are difficult to detect early because the flames will only be seen when the fire is large and has devoured a lot of surrounding material.
Smouldering fire on wood, source: google picture
The most common smoldering fire occurs in the process of burning wood/coconut shells as it is often used when burning food on it. This type of fire can also occur in the case of peat forest fires and will be difficult to extinguish because the burning occurs in the lower layers of peat forest. In addition, smoldering fire can also occur in the house caused by the smoldering from the heat of electronic goods or even electrical cables that are not properly protected so that they burn things around them.
Electrical Fire source: google picture
Smoldering Fire on the mattress source: google picture
Here are tips to prevent and detect smoldering fire in the house:
- Do not place electronic devices on cloth, paper, dacron foam, or fibrous materials flammable
- Wires unrepaired
- Do not place combustible fibrous items near power lines
- Do not throw cigarette butts carelessly in areas of the house, especially houses with lots of items piled up
- Do not place mosquito coils in areas where items are piled up or near materials flammable
Writer: Aulia Rahma - Fire Engineer Ignis Fire & Risk