Your guide to staying safe and preventing fires in Dubai and the UAE
21 August 2017| Last updated on 19 January 2020
In recent month’s fires in high-rise buildings have become quite a concern as they are occurring more frequently nowadays.
The Torch Tower, Fountain Views and more recently, Tiger Tower have caught ablaze. It is said that the external cladding on the buildings is highly flammable and the reason for the fires spreading so quickly.
Follow these tips to ensure the safety of yourself, family and neighbours:
Avoid barbeques and shisha on your balcony
Most of the older buildings in Dubai were built with an external cladding, which even though it looks good, is extremely flammable and needs very little encouragement to set alight.
The UAE government has stepped in and introduced new laws for all new buildings making the use of this cladding illegal. There are however no laws for buildings built before this was implemented, leaving many potentially dangerous buildings out there.
Don’t smoke shisha or have a barbeque on your balcony as things can easily go wrong causing a small flame or coal to turn into an uncontrolled fire.
Ensure your cigarette buds and shisha coals aren’t smouldering
Many people underestimate how dangerous a lit cigarette bud can be. A study done by UC Davis epidemiologists, showed that cigarettes are globally the leading cause of fires.
Once you are done smoking, don’t throw your cigarette down the building. Rather kill it in an ash tray or keep a small bottle of water handy to throw it in.
It is important to ensure that there aren’t any smouldering pieces left after you are done, especially if you are planning to immediately throw it in the dustbin.
There could be something flammable in the dustbin that you forgot about and by the time you realise the problem, the fire might already have spread or gotten out of control.
Don’t hang your washing outside
Drying your clothes outside in the sun with a fresh breeze blowing through them is much more eco-friendly and helps if you have limited space available but this is actually a very dangerous and even illegal act in the UAE.
Your clothes can be set alight from someone dropping a cigarette bud or shisha coals from a higher floor or help an existing fire to spread even further. It is safer to rather use a dryer or hang them inside to dry your clothes.
Take the necessary gas precautions
You are very likely to smell it if you have a gas leak but accidents do happen and it is better to be on the safe side when it comes to gas.
Your gas stove manual will include a list of safety precautions for you to follow while using the unit. Some general advice when it comes to gas stoves is to make sure that all the knobs are turned back to 0 once you are finished and turn your gas stove off by the wall socket.
It is also advisable to close your gas bottle if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
Small precautions from others will help ensure the safety of everyone around them. If everyone is careful and adhere to basic safety instructions, then fires shouldn’t be a problem in your building.