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10 December 2023

AC, heaters or refrigerators - ESMA to guard UAE homes from fire

By Majorie van Leijen

Our house is full of electrical equipment. Without us being aware of this, many of these devices are fire hazardous tools.

There are many electrical devices that cause fire, said Abdullah Al Maeeni, Director of the Conformity Affairs Department of Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).

“Take the air conditioner. The air conditioner is designed to function in certain climates. An AC that is safe in other countries might not be safe in the UAE, because it is much hotter here. Heat can lead to overload and this can cause fire.”

Currently ESMA is implementing a safety regulation looking into the import and local production of the AC.

“There is a misconception that all AC’s from outside UAE are good. But this is not the case. We have to strictly implement this regulation to ensure that consumers are safe when using these products. We are planning to announce new standards to cover more AC products next year from the current window and split ACs we are covering.”

It does not stop with the AC. Ironers, lamps, water heaters, Christmas lights or refrigerators; these electrical tools can all form a risk if not properly designed, explains Abdullah.

A couple of years ago a water heater exploded and injured a woman in Ras al Khaimah. At the time it was the third in a row explosion of that kind and the public was astonished.

To further clean the market, more and more products will be covered in the following year.

“We test these products, visit the factories, and study international standards. We are already covering a lot of products but we are gradually expanding to cover as many products as possible.

“We are slowly cleaning the market of fire hazardous products,” said Abdullah.

Hazardous products are often quickly manufactured and low in price, which makes them appealing for the public. “We face a challenge in that we do not want to deprive the local market from a variety of products, because this might lead to an increase in prices,” said Abdullah.

“But we look at what other countries do and what needs to be done to apply the best standards in the UAE.


[Image via Shutterstock]


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