: Only three of the 38 tahfiz schools inspected by the Melaka Fire and Rescue Department adhered to the standard fire safety requirements.
Department director, Kamarulzaman Malik Abdullah said the main reason for this was the use of houses and mosques as tahfiz schools.
The fire safety requirements for houses and mosques differed from those for tahfiz schools, he said to reporters after joining Melaka Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Sazali Muhd Din on a visit to the Madrasah Darul Muttaqim in Krubong here.
Kamarulzaman said the inspection revealed that many of the tahfiz schools operated from houses or mosques did not meet the fire safety standards.
He also said all tahfiz schools in the state were required to submit within two months a building plan for the operation of the schools, and failure to do so would result in their being ordered to close down immediately.
Meanwhile, Sazali said fire-fighting squads comprising students would be set up at all tahfiz schools in the state as a precautionary measure.
"We have identified 53 tahfiz schools and private religious schools registered under the Melaka Islamic Affairs Council and the fire-fighting squads will be set up at each of these institutions," he said.
"The aspect of fire safety education is important. When a fire occurs at a tahfiz school, the students will not panic but act wisely with the knowledge they have to fight the blaze," he said.
He also said the tahfiz schools and private religious schools in the state would be 'adopted' by the Melaka Fire and Rescue Department to ensure constant emphasis on the safety aspects and monitoring to prevent undesirable incidents.
Sazali said the Fire and Rescue Department was required to report to the state government on the developments and status of the fire safety aspects at every tahfiz school and private religious school in the state.
Madrasah Darul Muttaqim chairman Amir Ali said that the tahfiz school, which had been in operation for five years, had 80 students and 20 fire-fighting squads. -- Bernama