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Sunday, July 2, 2017

UAE: Now, Sharjah owners will have to pay firefighting cost!



  • The new rule comes after spate in fire incidents in Sharjah industrial areas.
Business owners in Sharjah will now have to bear the cost of firefighting operations if a blaze breaks out on the premises of their establishments and it is found that the fire was caused as fire safety requirements were not in place and norms were flouted.

Sharjah Civil Defense implemented the new rule from July 1. It comes close on the heels of a spate in fire incidents in Sharjah industrial areas.

Col Sami Al Naqbi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defense, said that owners of warehouses, workshops, factories and commercial outlets will have to pay up if they were found violating fire safety norms which caused the fire break-outs on their premises. The charges will be levied based on the number of hours spent in fighting the fire as well as number of firefighting teams, workers and material used in the operation.

Sharjah Civil Defense decided to implement the rule which is part of the Ministerial Resolution No. 213 of 2017 recently issued. "We decided to implement it in Sharjah due to its unique situation and the size of its industrial areas."

The department has already asked owner of one of the premises that caught fire last week to pay up the firefighting cost. The decision to implement the rule is aimed at obliging owners of industrial and commercial units to follow fire safety regulation to reduce occurrence of fire incidents during the summer.

Owners of business premises that were found violating the fire safety norms will have to pay fines in addition to the cost of fighting operation. "Our priority is to ensure safety of people and at the same time ensure safe environment for Sharjah industrial area which attracts huge business in the country," said Col Al Naqbi.

Inspection

Col Al Naqbi said that from July 2 intensified inspection will be carried out in areas and business houses which have witnessed frequent fire accidents. "Inspectors from fire stations will carry out inspections in the areas to check if the industrial premises are complying with the fire safety regulation," he said.

License procedures

License will not be issued without approval of Sharjah Civil Defense which will first review the designs, and drawings to ensure that fire safety norms are in place. The owners of new license must approach the administration of Sharjah Civil Defense to receive the approval and learn about the safety regulations and procedures. Those who receive warning from inspectors will have to approach the services centers at the Civil Defense to prove that the situation on the premises has been rectified.

Cooperation

Sharjah Civil Defense is currently coordinating with authorities concerned, including the municipality, SEWA and Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) to hold periodical meetings in order to strengthen their role in implementing the fire safety regulations.

Causes of fire

Most of the recent fire incidents were caused by power overloading which caused short circuits in the transformer cables. Some were because of negligence and improper power connections.

Insurance

The insurance companies are not allowed to process insurance services for any business without approval from the Civil Defense. Violating this rule will entail the insurance company to bear all responsibilities in case of accidents.

Awareness

Since the beginning of the year, Civil Defense has carried out four major awareness campaigns to educate business owners, workers and employees about the importance of implementing the safety procedures to prevent fire. There will be more awareness campaigns targeting students and companies as well as public in malls in the coming months.

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