x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fire safety inspectors off to an early start in Northern Emirates

Hundreds of homes have been visited as part of a national campaign to ensure every home in the UAE is prepared for fire emergencies.

NORTHERN EMIRATES // Authorities are starting early on home visits with a goal of reaching every home as part of the domestic fire safety campaign launched throughout the country.

Dozens of inspectors and instructors have already visited almost 600 residences in Sharjah in the past two weeks, many of which already had fire safety devices at hand, said Col Wahed al Serkal, the head of Sharjah Civil Defence. The emirate has a population of 800,000.

"We have about 50 women and more than 70 men on our outreach programmes," he said. "About 90 per cent of families have already installed safety equipment and our challenge was to show them how to use it."

Umm al Qaiwain civil defence officials have visited 520 dwellings in the past two weeks and found some without smoke alarm systems and others with faulty gas systems, said Col Hassan Ali bin Sullam, the director of UAQ civil defence. UAQ has a population of 62,000 people.

"We are asking building owners to rectify these problems whenever they are found," he said. "A visit in every home would take about five to 10 minutes."

More than 6,200 safety pamphlets and brochures were being distributed as part of the safety programme, he said.

In Ajman, almost 300 homes have been visited by inspection teams, said Brig Saleh Saeed al Matroushi, the Ajman Civil Defence director general.

He said that their first challenge was to create a database of the homes and residents. There are about 23,000 residences in Ajman for a population of about 350,000, he said, leaving a big task ahead to visit them all.

ykakande@thenational.ae