Officials release fire figures for Dubai in 2016
Human error is costly, says civil defence
Firefighters have tackled more than 320 blazes so far this year in Dubai, with one in four fires breaking out in residential homes.
Dubai Civil Defence recorded three deaths and 10 injuries in 322 incidents between January and the end of August, the latest figures have revealed.
Officials said 33 per cent of fires were in commercial properties and warehouses and six per cent were in under-construction buildings, adding that many had been preventable.
A civil defence spokesman said: “Fires usually occur as the result of an unforeseen problem and are often pure accident, but it can be due to somebody’s carelessness – a lit cigarette thrown into a trashcan, a lack of maintenance, an operator’s error or improper repairs.
“In other cases we see accidents caused by construction workers using flammable substances [when they shouldn’t]… training and strict procedures can prevent many potential fires.”
A quarter of reported fires were in residential buildings.
The fire spokesman said that when it comes to residential fires, crews often find “food that is being cooked left unattended or the oven was left on, which was found to be the cause”.
Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defence, said that if residents are caught in a fire, they need to focus on getting themselves out safely before they worry about their property. Al Matroushi told the Arabic newspaper Al Ittihad: “People must get away from the site of the fire first then call for help.”
He said that when it comes to minor fires, residents can use a manual fire extinguishers if they have been trained to use them. Al Matroushi added: “Civil Defence will respond to calls immediately in order to protect lives without exception. They also do not hesitate to protect pets, the environment, natural resources and public and private properties.”
Yesterday, 7DAYS reported that one of the experts involved in writing Dubai’s fire safety code believes too many residents are failing to show common sense when it comes to fire prevention, placing themselves and their neighbours at risk.