Civil Defence said the number of deaths related to fire incidents decreased by 8 per cent during the first six months of 2017 from the same period in 2016.
Number of fires in UAE drops by 41 per cent from 2016
Twelve people were killed and 115 others injured in more than 900 fires across the country during the first half of this year, the Ministry of Interior said on Monday.
The number of deaths related to fire incidents has dropped 8 per cent from the same period in 2016 and the number of injuries are down 47 per cent, said Civil Defence general director Maj Gen Jassim Al Marzooqi.
He said the number of fires has decreased by 41 per cent compared to the first six months of 2016.
Maj Gen Al Marzooqi attributed the fall in numbers on continuous staff training, the use of the latest fire-prevention technologies and the combined efforts of the civil defence departments across the country.
He said 61 per cent of the 928 fires occurred in villas and residential apartments.
Eighty-seven per cent of the fires were minor, Maj Gen Al Marzooqi said.
Last year the Ministry of Interior reported a 31 per cent decrease in the numbers of fires from 3,388 incidents in 2015 to 2,352 in 2016.
The number of deaths related to fires in 2016 also dropped by 52 per cent from 33 in 2015 to 16 deaths last year.
Fires reported in houses and residential apartments went down by 8 per cent in 2016 from the year before.
According to Brig Mohammed Al Nuaimi, director general of the Fire and Protection Affairs at the General Command of Civil Defence, said the decline in the number of fires was also due to awareness campaigns organised by civil defence that began in December last year and will to continue until the end of this year.
The awareness campaigns target students and home makers through workshops and the distribution of leaflets, he said.
“We also trained officers at civil defence centres to perform sudden inspections on buildings and establishments to ensure there are fire preventive equipment,” said Brig Al Nuaimi.
After statistics showed that most fires occurred in residential apartments, the civil defence general command launched an initiative to install fire detectors in homes under the title “Fire Detectors, Safety of Your Home.”
Last week Civil Defence chiefs said greater awareness was needed among the workforce and public about the dangers, particularly in the summer, when temperatures are high and buildings are dry and dusty.
Their statements came following a spate of major industrial blazes which led to concerns about crumbling buildings and a culture of poor fire safety awareness among workers and business owners.
Col Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director general of Sharjah Civil Defence, whose teams fought at least three major blazes that razed buildings to the ground in the past three weeks, said there was a need for an overhaul of safety standards, including harsher penalties for owners that fail to safeguard their buildings, careless workers that cause fires and broader awareness campaigns for the public.
“Negligence is a major cause of fires,” he said.