Thursday, 12 October 2017

Negligence, rats are behind domestic fire accidents in Sharjah

Domestic negligence including leaving incense burners inside closets or under curtains and using of poor quality power extension wires are some of the major causes for erupting fires in the emirate, warned the Sharjah Police. The warning was issued following the increase in the number of domestic fire accidents in Sharjah.

Col Adil Al Mazmi, fire accidents expert at the forensic laboratory of the Sharjah police said the investigations into the recent fire accidents that have occurred in residential apartments and villas revealed that negligence and lack of awareness led to fire accidents and explosions in the kitchen.

He said that the majority of domestic accidents could have been avoided with a little care. Being aware of the potential dangers of items of everyday use such as candles and incense burners, often left inside the wardrobe or inflammable places, lead to accidents.

He added that while investigating one of the accidents, the fire experts found the family were used to leaving hazardous materials like an iron box in the socket for a long time and placing lighters at locations reachable to children.

Safety is a must

Al Mazmi placed emphasis on the need to adhere to the basic rules of safety in order to avoid household fires, which included the need to be careful while storing gas cylinders in the kitchen and checking for any leakages.

Families must ensure the safety of electricity wires and cables and avoid overloading on the electrical connections as any short-circuit may cause a fire. He called for periodic maintenance of electrical installations inside and outside the house, replacing any damaged ones.

Col Al Mazmi also stressed that the air conditioner connections should not be exposed and the electrical wiring should not pass over carpets or heat sources.

The water heaters are a big problem if they are not used in a safe manner. Some people keep the heaters switched on for a long time, which leads to evaporation of water inside. If the heater does not have a safety valve that prevents evaporation, the heater may explode and lead to disasters.

Rats can cause fire

Col Al Mazmi also warned of the presence of rodents, which eat the electric wires or connection of gas cylinders. In many cases, rat and mice have been the cause behind gas cylinder explosions. "Tenants must inform the municipality about the presence of rodents or use pesticide to curb them."

Deliberate acts

He said that some fire accidents that occur in warehouses, commercial centres, workshops, shops, and towers were caused by the deliberate act to obtain insurance or hide the shreds of evidence of a crime, but the most common cause of the fire was negligence and lack of awareness about fire prevention.

Fatal cases

Due to fire accidents, Sharjah has witnessed unfortunate incidents like the one that claimed the lives of two Pakistani children, aged nine and five, when a fire erupted in their house in Al Ghaifah area.

In another case, a mother and her two daughters aged 13 and 12 from the Comoros were also killed during the fire that erupted in a shared house inhabited by two families the Qadisiya area last year.

Smoke detector is the best solution

The Sharjah Civil Defence has confirmed the need to install mandatory smoke detectors in homes throughout the emirate by next year. "They are useful and aims to detect fires earlier, hence preventing the loss of life or property," he said.

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