All 78 private schools in Sharjah a fire hazard

Fire safety looks set to be a burning issue in Sharjah’s private schools with all such institutions in the emirate failing to meet standards set by the authority.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Tue 17 Aug 2010, 8:42 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:12 AM

Harib Al Tunaiji, head of the emergency inspection committee for fire safety told Khaleej Times that all 78 private schools in Sharjah were issued warnings and were slapped with fines.

They were given a week’s time to improve the situation before the start of the academic year.

‘‘Private schools are ignoring fire safety procedures and endangering children lives. Most schools did not have extinguishers, emergency exits, alarm systems and safety equipments.’’

Many schools in the emirate had classrooms partitioned by wooden material to accommodate more students. Others stored inflammable material, while some had constructed extensions without permission, thereby putting students at risk in the event of a fire.

Inspections revealed electrical wires were left uncovered in several schools. Classrooms in many schools were being used as workshops and for accommodations during summer, the official said.

Some school managements were fined for using parking areas as kitchens and for storing wooden logs. Most schools lacked of proper ventilation and signboard that had numbers of emergency services.

Al Tunaiji said inspections would continue and the 15 female inspectors would visit these schools again to ensure that they acted on the warnings issued by the authority. Schools who ignored warnings would be slapped with fines as high as Dh5,000, or even risked closure, Al Tunaiji said

In the new academic year, inspectors will provide emergency training for staff of schools and also train security personnel how to deal with a fire when it breaks out and control it before the arrival of firefighters.

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