x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Fire chiefs in new effort to keep factories safe

Industrial areas in Sharjah and Ajman will now have dedicated safety inspectors.

SHARJAH AND AJMAN // Civil Defence chiefs are "sparing no effort" in their bid to prevent fires breaking out this summer in the UAE's biggest industrial zone.

The hot summer months often result in fires at warehouses and factories in Sharjah City Industrial Area. Now the area will be patrolled by specialist inspectors.

"We are sparing no effort to ensure that all factories and warehouses are safe this year," said Brig Abdullah Saeed Al Suwaidi, the director general of Sharjah Civil Defence.

Five dedicated four-man inspection teams will cover the biggest industrial zone in the UAE. Smaller areas in Sharjah, such as Al Dhaid, Kalba and Khor Fakkan, will be covered by one inspector each.

Inspectors will visit companies to train staff on how to react to emergencies, evacuate employees from a burning building and show the best storage methods for flammable chemicals.

Brig Al Suwaidi said staff trained in fire safety were expected to pass on their knowledge to colleagues.

Inspectors will issue warnings if they find any violations.

Failure to heed warnings and rectify violations would result in a fine.

"Wherever they give a warning the inspectors will follow up and see that the violation had been addressed," said Brig Al Suwaidi.

A similar fire-safety campaign is also being launched in Ajman, said Brig Saleh Saeed Al Matroushi from Ajman Civil Defence.

"Inspectors will visit every warehouse and company in industrial areas to ensure that all fire-safety requirements are in place," said Brig Al Matroushi.

"Awareness lectures and brochures will also be prepared for workers."

Ajman and Sharjah have experienced major fires in industrial areas in recent years.

Most recently a blaze destroyed five warehouses at the National Paints factory in Sharjah.

ykakande@thenational.ae