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Fire alert: Precautions you must take during summer

Abu Dhabi Police cautions leaving children alone inside vehicles may lead to death

Abu Dhabi: With all of the modern amenities available in the UAE, sometimes we forget that we are living in a desert where searing temperatures can pose certain dangers to those caught off guard.

To prevent calamity, the General Directorate of Civil Defence, Health and Environment ministries is issuing an alert to all residents to take precautions as summer temperatures arrive and life in the UAE shifts into summer mode.

With summer temperatures edging towards 50 degrees Celsius in the country, civil defence authorities have advised people to be mindful of the heat when it comes to keeping homes, cars and loved ones safe.

Authorities, for example, are warning residents in home kitchens to exercise caution while operating highly inflammable substances such as gas cylinders electric cooker and water heaters.

Authorities are also cautioning motorists who park their vehicles in the open exposed directly to the sun to keep the windows slightly open under the sun to avoid overheating foodstuffs, lighters, soft drinks, perfumes, batteries and other electrical devices in the car.

Under direct sunlight, items can become unfit for consumption and batteries may emit poisonous gases when it gets overheated.

Residents are warned to keep an eye out for biting bugs and animals as snakes and scorpions flee exposed desert areas and seek cooler shelter in houses and farms.

Dealers of electrical equipment should be mindful at their outlets and warehouses where these electrical commodities are stored.

In February, Al Ain Police saved a woman and her child after their water heater exploded in their Al Ain home.

Major Abdullah Matar Al Dhaheri, Head of Fire Incidents at the Criminal Evidence Department (CID) in Al Ain, said the explosion was caused due to a copper safety valve that had been incorrectly replaced.

“The new copper valve was not compatible with the victim’s water heater, which affected the device’s heating mechanism. The valve’s incompatibility then caused salt to develop and cover the valve gap,” said Maj Al Dhaheri.

In March, the civil defence said, 54 per cent of all recorded fire accidents occurred in private villas and houses in the UAE that did not have fire safety systems in place.

It also added the short circuits occur at homes due to overloading of electrical equipment and advised people not to increase loads on electricity metres and to operate air conditioners only when required, especially during peak time of the day.

The authorities also called on residents to avoid exposing to direct sunlight especially between 10am and 3pm and urged residents to keep pots filled with water on windows, fences, farms and balconies for birds, cats and other animals.

Never leave kids in car

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Police cautioned that leaving children inside vehicles may lead to suffocation and death due to lack of oxygen and high temperature inside the car.

Colonel Mohammad Ibrahim Al Ameri, director of the directorate of emergency and public safety, said, “Leaving children inside the cars locked for hours can be very dangerous and could lead to death.”

He said that a child while alone in the car could operate the gears or start the engine which could cause a serious accident.

Each year, deaths of children occur inside their own parents’ cars due to sheer negligence.

Last year in June, two Emirati sisters, aged two and four, died after they were locked accidentally in their father’s car in Ajman, and in September, a six-year-old Emirati girl died of suffocation in Abu Dhabi after her parents left her in the car for nearly six hours.

In June 2013, a three-year-old boy died when he was forgotten inside a car in Ras Al Khaimah during peak summer.

In July 2012, a three-year-old Emirati boy died after his family forgot him in the car for almost four hours in Kalba, while another five-year-old Emirati girl died the same month after her grandmother forgot her in the car for almost two hours in Umm Al Quwain.

Al Ameri pointed out the Abu Dhabi Police aims to increase the awareness among families and the various segments of the society highlighting their responsibility towards children’s safety and care.

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