x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fire watch starts early

Fire inspectors will visit factories and homes in Sharjah to ensure safety regulations are being followed before the summer months.

Smoke billows from the National Paints factory in Sharjah. Fire inspectors in the emirate are to ensure safety regulations are being followed before the summer months.
Smoke billows from the National Paints factory in Sharjah. Fire inspectors in the emirate are to ensure safety regulations are being followed before the summer months.

SHARJAH // Fire inspectors will visit factories and homes in the emirate to ensure safety regulations are being followed before the summer months.

Inspectors from Sharjah Municipality and Civil Defence will visit high-rises, office buildings and warehouses to check that sprinklers, fire exits and smoke detectors are installed, said Lt Col Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Tunaiji, the director of safety and emergency at the Civil Defence.

"The violating homes or companies will be issued a warning. If they fail to rectify the problem they will be fined," Lt Col Al Tunaiji said.

He said warnings were issued for first-time infractions, which must be rectified within 48 hours.

If the situation does not improve, the owners will be fined and must agree in writing to solve the problem within another 48 hours.

If they fail to do so, the company will be closed until all of the violations are corrected.

Inspections have already started in the emirate's industrial areas.

"Inspectors visited us on Monday and checked if fire extinguishers were working and how we stored the paint," said a worker at a paint factory in Industrial Area 13.

"We were not given any fine or warning, but there are many companies we have heard of that got warnings."

Each summer fires break out in the emirate's industrial areas. Two years ago the National Paints factory was destroyed in a blaze.

Sharjah Civil Defence has also been equipped with a mobile operations room to help to co-ordinate firefighting, said Brig Abdullah Saeed Al Suwaidi, the director general of Sharjah Civil Defence.

The vehicle allows its a crew of five to organise fire crews while on the move.

"The equipment is directly linked to the Civil Defence operations room and the Ministry of Interior operations room in Abu Dhabi," said Brig Al Suwaidi.

"It will make monitoring of fire sites easy for officers even when they are not at the site."

Lt Col Al Tunaiji said fire-safety campaigns must now incorporate a message to smokers on safe disposal of cigarette butts at home.

Authorities said this week that the fire that gutted the Al Bakar residential tower in Sharjah in January was caused by a cigarette butt.

ykakande@thenational.ae