A third of all UAE fires erupt in homes... and how to avoid them

Last year a total of 1,301 cases of fire were reported throughout the UAE. Of these cases, 416 were residential fires.

A spate of fires has plagued the country over the last couple of months. Most disastrously, a fire gutted parts of the 34-floor high-rise Al Tayer Building in Al Nahda, Sharjah, which left residents of nearly 400 apartments homeless for several nights.

Residential fires made up 32 per cent of the total number of fires in the country, show statistics of Dubai Civil Defence.

Residential fires are counted as fires erupting in villas, apartments or shared accommodations.

When a fire erupts in your home, the consequences can be tragic. Apart from the loss of human life, the experience of loss of belongings can change a life. And it can often be prevented.

With a nation-wide campaign ranging from December 2010 to June 2012, Dubai Civil Defence visited 206,490 residences, raising preventive awareness and identifying residences that contain sources of danger.

"As a result of this campaign, the recorded number of residential fires decreased by 38% in 2011 compared to 2010," says Major General Rashid Al Matrooshi of Dubai Civil Defence.

According to Al Matrooshi, the main sources of danger for the eruption of fire according to statistics and reports of the fire brigade were the following:

•Bad electrical equipment or networking

•Improper gas systems or networking

•Accumulation of oil at the suction fan in the kitchen

•Burners or cigarettes in the rooms

"During the campaign we eliminated many of such sources," says Al Matrooshi.

In addition, Dubai Civil Defence advises people to take the following steps when a fire erupts:

•Evacuate the house

•Immediately inform Civil Defence about the incident

•Cut the power in the house

•Use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire at the source following the instructions written on the cylinder, and without putting yourself to risk.

•Quickly remove flammable material from the fire vicinity.

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