Inspectors to ensure Ramadan tents safety
Manama , July 24, 2011
Inspectors will be out in force in Bahrain during Ramadan this year to ensure operators of seasonal tents do not violate health and safety laws.
Applications from hotels seeking to set up Ramadan tents are already being processed by the Health Ministry, which is warning that those who break the law will be prosecuted.
The tents are famous for their food and sheesha smoking, but children aged under-18 will only be allowed into non-smoking areas - and only then if they are accompanied by an adult.
"Our team of inspectors will work round the clock inspecting tents in different hotels," National Anti-Smoking Campaign co-ordinator Dr Ejlal Al Alawi told the GDN.
"If any violation is found and proved, tent owners will be directly referred to the Public Prosecution."
According to regulations, four and five-star hotels must have designated smoking and non-smoking sections in their Ramadan tents clearly marked at the entrance. A partition should separate areas for smokers and non-smokers.
"We appeal to all such places to follow the guidelines, otherwise they risk fines or closure," stressed Dr Al Alawi.
Just one tent owner was referred to the Public Prosecution last year for breaking the rules.
Hotels must submit plans for their Ramadan tents in advance before getting approval to open.
Tent owners must ensure proper air-conditioning and ventilation systems, with smoking areas not occupying more than 50 per cent of the total area of the tent.
Meanwhile, inspectors will also be deployed to make sure that food is being prepared properly during Ramadan to avoid an outbreak of food poisoning.
However, Dr Al Alawi said the team could not inspect private tents set up in neighbourhoods and other areas licensed by the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.
"This is because firstly we do not have permission to inspect these tents and secondly they are meant for personal or family use," she explained.
The General Directorate of Civil Defence will also conduct inspections of Ramadan tents to make sure there are no fire hazards, while spreading awareness in the community about the dangers posed by electronics, air-conditioners and tents that do not use fire-resistant materials. – TradeArabia News Service