Firefighters battling the blaze raging in one of the five warehouses in Sharjah Industrial Area 11 on Saturday. — KT photos by M. Sajjad
The Sharjah Civil Defence on Tuesday issued fines worth Dh250,000 to five warehouses which were gutted in Sharjah Industrial Area 11 last Saturday for violating fire safety rules.
A top official said the fire broke out and spread quickly because fire safety regulations were violated by the owners of these warehouses. Saturday’s blaze resulted in losses worth millions of dirhams as 200 containers and 150,000 automobile tyres were gutted.
Speaking to Khaleej times, Colonel Khalid bin Kanoon, Deputy Director of the Sharjah Civil Defence, said the violations were noticed after the blaze was brought under control.
“Twenty violations of fire safety rules were observed, including improper storage of goods, failure to maintain emergency exits, failing to instal fire equipment and putting flammable material in hot temperature.”
The cooling operation ended on Thursday and inspections are currently underway to ascertain if other fire safety regulations were violated. Col Kanoon pointed out that the Sharjah Civil Defence has already initiated an intensified inspection campaign targeting industrial, commercial and residential premises to minimise fire accidents during this summer.
“Initially, the department will carry out awareness campaigns to educate the violating establishments, followed by warnings for failing to implement fire safety procedures,” he said.
Fines starting from Dh1,000 will be levied if they are found flouting the rules and not responding to warnings.
“The implementation of a comprehensive preventive system in Sharjah contributed in minimising fire accidents in Sharjah industrial areas,” he said.
Eighty-nine per cent of the commercial establishments and building owners have entered into contracts with one of the 320 government-approved fire safety companies. The civil defence has instructed the companies to provide fire safety training to at least 10 per cent of its employees.
Watchmen at residential buildings also underwent training for using fire safety equipment.
“(In our campaign), the inspectors will focus on workshops which are being used as accommodation for workers — a practice that could endanger their lives in the event of a fire,” Col Kanoon added.
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