Bahrain sees 25pc drop in fires
Manama, December 18, 2013
Bahrain has experienced a 25 per cent drop in fires this year, according to official statistics.
In the last 11 months, firemen responded to 2,844 blazes compared to 3,784 last year, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Civil Defence director-general Brigadier Mohammed Showaiter attributed the decrease to better education and awareness, although electrical fires in particular are still causing a problem.
"People from the Electricity and Water Authority give lectures on radio and TV and we now find that there are not so many fires," he said.
"The public are better educated now. The Civil Defence gives lectures through a special programme with the Education Ministry and we have schoolchildren and teachers visiting fire stations to learn how to protect themselves."
However, despite attempts to provide comprehensive fire safety education, there has been an increase in the number of electrical fires, said Brig Showaiter, with extractor fan fires alone accounting for 23 call-outs this year.
"Sometimes people forget, or they keep electrical equipment switched on for a long time," he explained.
"We have a lot of fires caused by extractor fans. For example, recently in a shopping centre the staff at a store stacked boxes in front of the fan.
"The fan was switched on, but nobody knew about it and it became very hot, melted and started a big fire.
"The problem was that they kept the fan working for a long time without switching it off."
Extractor fans fitted in the bathrooms of homes could also cause a problem, added Brig Showaiter.
"Sometimes people take a shower and when they finish they don't switch off the fan," he said.
"But you should switch it off, instead of keeping it on 24 hours a day. It is not good - we have had too many fires as a result."
The GDN had reported that Bahrain Mall was evacuated on October 27 after an electrical fire broke out in a women's fashion boutique on the first floor. A huge plume of thick black smoke was visible from several kilometres away as flames ate through the roof. Investigators said a short circuit in an electrical equipment was the cause of the blaze. - TradeArabia News Service