How to prevent fires in UAE during summer

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Abu Dhabi - Civil defence raises awareness about ways to prevent fire at homes, workplaces.



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 17 Aug 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 18 Aug 2019, 10:04 AM

With temperatures reaching 50 degrees, the Department of Civil Defence in Abu Dhabi has intensified its efforts to raise awareness about ways to prevent fire at home and in the workplace.
As temperature soars in summer, the number of fire-related cases also rises. Recently, a child died of suffocation when fire erupted inside their house in Abu Dhabi.
A few months ago, six people lost their lives as fire broke out at their villa in Al Ain. Eight Emiratis were killed due to a blaze resulting from short circuit in their home in Baniyas.
In one incident, the timely intervention of the civil defence teams helped rescue 21 people from another villa fire.
Even with rescue and emergency teams working round the clock, the department issued a statement reminding residents to take their own preventive actions to avoid fire incidents. It had been found that most fires were caused by faulty or overloaded electrical equipment at flats, villas and offices.
Overloaded power sockets is a common hazard in most households and office spaces, and it must be avoided at all costs, the department said.
Simple safety checks
Every summer, residents need to check their air-conditioning systems and have them serviced, if necessary. Residents also need to check if all appliances and other electrical equipment are working properly, and there should be no loose connections. 
They must be cautious in operating flammable items like gas cylinders and induction cookers in the kitchen, authorities added.
The department then warned against leaving exhaust fans on for long periods, as an overheated motor is also a fire hazard.
Moreover, it said there have been incidents where fire started due to sheer negligence - like the recent one at an apartment where the resident forgot to put out his shisha and fire spread through nearby bookshelf.
Peak season
The civil defence department has long been urging residents to ensure that reliable smoke alarms are installed in their homes and workplaces. In addition, residents must regularly check their fire extinguishers at home, it said.
They should keep emergency phone numbers handy. And should anyone spot a dangerous situation or fire, he or she must immediately call the police - instead of shooting videos for social media.
The department noted that the accumulation of waste at construction sites is also hazardous because if any flammable item - like tyres - catches fire, it may spread quickly.
The department has regularly conducted public awareness drives to reduce incidents of fire, especially during the summer season when the number of cases peaks.
Working 24 hours a day, civil defence centres have promptly intervened in all emergency situations. The department noted that there were no major incidents during Eid Al Adha holidays, except for minor ones.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com 
 

Safety tips
. Do not overload power sockets
. Never leave mobile phones charging overnight, while you're asleep
. Unplug all kitchen appliances when not in use
. Double-check gas cylinders at night and before heading out
. Check your air-conditioning unit regularly
. Don't leave exhaust fans on for long periods
. Check for loose connections in all electrical equipment
. No flammable materials must be kept near the stove or oven
. Ensure reliable smoke alarms are installed
. Check your fire extinguishers
. Practise an emergency drill with your family and friends
. Call emergency numbers when you spot danger
UAE numbers to call in case of emergencies
. 999 for Police
. 998 for Ambulance
. 997 for Fire Department (Civil Defence)
. 996 for Coastguard
. 911 for electricity falure
. 922 for water failure


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