Civil Defence issues safety tips to counter fire risks
June 29 2018 09:56 PM
fire extinguisher in vehicle
A valid fire extinguisher should be kept within easy reach in the vehicle


The General Directorate of Civil Defence at the Ministry of Interior has issued guidelines for the public to ensure their safety on several fronts, especially against fire risks.

It should be ensured that the cooking gas cylinder is closed, electrical appliances switched off and the windows and doors are securely locked while leaving the house or offices. Some sources of ventilation need to be open to protect the walls from cracking, especially during summer season. 
Regular maintenance is required for main equipment and devices at home, especially in the kitchen, such as gas cylinders, electrical wires, air-conditioners and other devices for avoiding fire breakout.
Gas cylinders are to be kept at a safe and shaded place, away from the sun and gas burners, and from the reach of the children. Do not allow the children to approach the sources of danger such as lighters, insecticides and toxic detergents inside or outside the house.
If a gas leak happens, open all doors and windows to ventilate and reduce the concentration of leaked gas. Do not use a burning matchstick near a gas cylinder to locate the point of leakage and instead, put some soap foam on the cylinder, which will produce bubbles if there is a leakage. And also avoid switching on electric switches for lights and exhaust fan for the purpose of ventilation as they may serve as points of ignition to the highly inflammable gas.
When a fire breaks out in an oil pan, avoid pouring water into the pan, because it spreads the fire. Cover the burning pan by placing the nearest thick lid on the pan or cover it with a fire blanket. 
When a fire breaks out in the trash-bin, cover the burning trash-bin immediately with a damp cloth so as to prevent oxygen from augmenting the fire. In the kitchen, avoid wearing flowing dress or nylon mixed wear as it may be a fire hazard. The exhaust fan should be kept clean always.
Ensure the availability of a working fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in the kitchen in case of a minor fire breakout and avoid storing inflammable materials inside the kitchen to stop its quick reaction with fire. 
Commercial establishments are advised to ensure the availability of necessary safety equipment and devices in commercial and industrial establishments and be keen to conduct fire evacuation drills in the establishments at a regular basis. 
They also have to ensure there are no obstructions in the corridors and emergency exits impeding the passage of workers and endangering their lives if a fire breaks out. Comply with proper storage rules and maintenance of equipment, devices and operating units regularly and arrange necessary natural or mechanical ventilation for the emergency exits. 
Regarding the safety of the vehicles, refrain from the factors that may lead to a fire, especially during the summer season. In addition to this, keep a valid fire extinguisher within easy reach in the vehicle. Do not overload the vehicle more than its capacity and stop frequently while driving long distances. 
Maintaining radiator coolant at a good level will minimise the possibility of a fire breakout in the vehicle. Carry out the necessary repair for vehicles by an expert mechanic and switch off the engine and refrain from smoking and using mobile phone while putting fuel. 
As for some general instructions, MoI has advised everyone to carry with them the address such as building, street and zone numbers as this will help the emergency service to reach quickly when needed. 
When a fire breaks out, keep away from the source of heat and fire, evacuate the place immediately and call the emergency number "999". Keep always fire extinguisher, fire blanket and first aid kit, etc. at reach and educate everyone in the house or work place of its proper usage. Connect with early warning and automatic fire extinguisher systems of the buildings, such as smoke, fire and gas detectors. 
Do not overload the electricity system by using multiple devices on a single transformer and avoid the use of bad electrical tools, whether in electrical connections or transformers.

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