KFSD of­fi­cial ex­plains dan­ger of heaters while camp­ing

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Faten Omar

Win­ter­time is the best time for fam­ily gath­er­ings and camp­ing. But while en­joy­ing this time, we should be aware of car­bon monox­ide, the silent killer. Car­bon monox­ide, or CO, is a col­or­less, odor­less, and toxic gas. Room heaters fu­eled with gas, oil, and kerosene pro­duce it; CO can ac­cu­mu­late to dan­ger­ous lev­els. Though the bri­quettes do not pro­duce vis­i­ble smoke and seems to be smoke­less and harm­less, it con­tains poi­sonous gas within, which works in shad­ows.

“Dur­ing win­ter, we face many cases of death due to fire and suf­fo­ca­tion. Peo­ple use heaters, coals, and bri­quettes to heat the room and for­get to ex­tin­guish it,” First Lieu­tenant Ali Qali, pub­lic re­la­tions and me­dia depart­ment of the Kuwait Fire Ser­vice Direc­torate (KFSD) told Kuwait Times. He added that this causes suf­fo­ca­tion and may lead to a fire due to lack of ven­ti­la­tion. Another cause of death is Car­bon monox­ide (CO) poi­son­ing which is ig­nored in some cases.

One of the joys of life for Kuwaitis is that peo­ple can spend their time in the desert. But to en­sure the safety and se­cu­rity of campers, Qali noted that peo­ple should fol­low fire pre­ven­tion pro­ce­dures while camp­ing in or­der to pre­vent ac­ci­dents and en­sure safety at camps by putting out the coal be­fore sleep­ing.

“Peo­ple must use high qual­ity coal. Af­ter the coal turns white, the camper should make sure the tent has proper ven­ti­la­tion to pre­vent breath­ing in CO while us­ing the heater,” he said. Qali said that the bri­quettes, coal and gas heaters should be kept out­side the room and if pos­si­ble CO de­tec­tors should be used in build­ings for bet­ter pre­cau­tions. He pointed out that all kind of heaters are con­sid­ered safe if peo­ple use it in the right way.

With elec­tri­cal heaters, the most com­mon cause of ig­ni­tion is short cir­cuit. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey, the cause of ig­ni­tion dur­ing the third quar­ter of 2016 were 510 short cir­cuit ac­ci­dents, while 145 were caused by young­sters and chil­dren. “Low qual­ity power socket may cause a short cir­cuit, which may lead to fire and death,” Qali said. He added that peo­ple should avoid warm­ing up their clothes by putting them on the heater. “The elec­tri­cal heater has ven­ti­la­tion slots and a fan. When you cover it, it dam­ages the heater.” To avoid the risk of suf­fo­ca­tion and fire, he ad­vised peo­ple to su­per­vise chil­dren when the heater is be­ing used, keep flammable things away from the heater, have a qualified pro­fes­sional in­stall the equip­ment and make sure that all fuel-burn­ing equip­ment are vented out­side to avoid car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing.

First Lieu­tenant Ali Qali

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