UAE: 70% of fire-related deaths occur inside residential homes

Omar Abbas - | Arab

Official statistics indicate that a significant majority, 70%, of fatalities resulting from fire incidents within the UAE occur in residential settings, with 56% of all fires originating within homes.

Fire safety challenges in the UAE

In response to these alarming figures, the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority has advocated for the widespread installation of smoke detectors in residential buildings as a proactive measure to mitigate fire-related losses.

A Call for Enhanced Fire Prevention Measures

Emphasizing the critical need for enhanced fire safety practices, the authority has highlighted several common causes of home fires, particularly prevalent during the summer months. These include the use of substandard electrical appliances, overloading of electrical sockets, improper use of electrical connections that do not meet approved standards, and neglecting routine maintenance checks by qualified technicians.

Despite concerted efforts by the government to reduce fire incidents and associated risks, statistics from the Ministry of Interior underscore ongoing challenges. Over recent years, fires in residential properties have resulted in tragic loss of life and substantial material damage. The Ministry further reports that "house fires" constitute a significant majority (56%, of all reported fires nationwide), with a distressing 70% of fire-related fatalities occurring within homes.

In response to these concerning trends, the Ministry of Interior has issued warnings regarding high-risk areas within homes, particularly sleeping quarters and kitchens, where the mandatory installation of smoke detectors is strongly advised. This precautionary measure aims to expedite detection and response to fire outbreaks, thereby minimizing potential harm.

Moreover, the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority has outlined the financial implications of non-compliance with fire safety regulations, citing penalties amounting to 10,000 dirhams for individuals or entities failing to obtain required licenses or certificates from the Civil Defense, as per Cabinet Resolution No. 24 of 2012.

In June, the Authority launched its annual community awareness program for 2024, encompassing a series of targeted campaigns and initiatives aimed at enhancing public awareness of preventive safety measures and emergency preparedness. These efforts aim to foster a culture of proactive risk management across diverse segments of society, empowering individuals to effectively respond to emergencies and reduce accident rates.

To mitigate risks specifically within kitchen environments, the Authority has identified five essential preventive measures, including regular maintenance of electrical appliances and gas extensions, ensuring proper ventilation, and safe storage of sharp objects and gas cylinders.

Furthermore, the authority has emphasized the importance of safe practices when using air suction fans and cautioned against improper handling of incense burners, which pose fire hazards if not used correctly. Precautionary guidelines stress the necessity of using high-quality equipment that adheres to safety standards and ensuring adult supervision during usage to prevent accidents, particularly in households with children.

The Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority advocates for proactive measures such as smoke detector installations and adherence to safety protocols to safeguard lives and property from the devastating impacts of fire incidents. These initiatives underscore the government's commitment to enhancing public safety and emergency response capabilities across the UAE.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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