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18 July 2024

UAE fire incidents 500 times less than in Paris alone: Dubai Civil Defence chief

Chief of Dubai Civil Defense and acting Director General of the UAE Civil Defense Department Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi. (SUPPLIED)

By Majorie van Leijen

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi is a hard man to meet, as he not only heads Dubai Civil Defense, but is also acting Director General of the UAE Civil Defense Department.

Still, he is willing to listen and respond.

Emirates 24|7 asked Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi a few burning questions in the wake of the recent Tamweel Tower fire.

Focus on fire safety

In comparison to other major cities in the world the UAE as a whole witnesses a low number of fire incidents, said Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi.

Although there has been a lot of focus on fire incidents and fire safety in the UAE, the rate of fire incidents is actually relatively low, Al Matroushi stated last month.

Comparative analysis

In 2010 a comparison was made between the UAE as a whole and five major cities in the world.

Whereas the UAE saw 34 incidents per 100,000 people, this number was significantly exceeded by Paris (17,966 incidents per 100,000 people) Toronto (5,673 incidents per 100,000 people), Frankfurt (2,570 incidents per 100,000 people), London (189 incidents per 100,000 people) and Singapore (105 incidents per 100,000 people.

“For the year 2013 we are keen to realize the lowest levels, in terms of the number and size of fire incidents per 100 people and in comparison to the levels in other nations,” Al Matroushi said.

Gulf co-operation

Joint efforts of different sections within UAE Civil Defense and with other GCC countries has elevated the UAE Civil Defense force to a globally competitive level when it comes to Civil Defense services, Al Matroushi continues to explain.
As such, UAE Civil Defense is number one globally in carrying out national campaigns.

National campaign

“We have proven our experience in carrying out awareness campaigns on the national level with great success.

“Within the first stage of the national campaign for safety in the household, which took six months, teams of Civil Defense distributed 1.257,865 pamphlets to 206,490 households throughout all emirates in the country, where the total number of households in the country is 335,668, so we achieved to cover 61,5 per cent.”

In another 3-months long national campaign targeting the industrial areas Civil Defense teams visited 31,647 buildings and facilities in these areas and corrected 13,400 violations. It also selected 53,426 labourers of the total 1,420,668 to take part in a training of fire protection skills and distributed 117,785 guiding pamphlets.

In addition to applying best practice in carrying out national campaigns, UAE Civil Defense houses the number one eEngineering application, ranks fourth globally in the application of an emergency procedure guidebook, third in the world in the application of intelligent systems, and is one of the 14 countries in the world that has a preventive fire code.


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