Law will ensure smoke alarms are a must in homes across the country by next year

Civil Defence authorities across the country are gearing up for awareness campaigns before the law requiring homes to be fitted with smoke detectors comes into force.

Civil defence authorities will be organising awareness campaigns nationwide on the mandatory smoke alarm laws. Getty Images
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SHARJAH // Smoke alarms will be mandatory in homes across the country when a federal law comes into force next year.

Civil Defence authorities across the country are gearing up for awareness campaigns before the law requiring homes to be fitted with smoke detectors comes into force.

Officials in Fujairah and Ajman said the new regulation will be enforced on all flats and villas, with campaigns beginning as early as next month, following a similar campaign in Sharjah last week.

“It is a nationwide campaign under the umbrella of the Ministry of Interior and General Directorate of Civil Defence. The aim of is to raise the awareness of residents about the necessity of these devices. It will serve as a stepping stone before the regulation comes into effect,” said Lt Col Ali Obeid Al Tunaiji, director of Fujairah Civil Defence.

Sharjah Civil Defence started a week-long awareness campaign in the city and now intends to move onto the central and eastern regions of the emirate.

“Civil defence teams will install 1,000 smoke detectors free of charge across selected homes in the emirate in a bid to raise awareness and secure the homes,” said Lt Col Sami Al Naqbi, director of Sharjah Civil Defence.

Meanwhile, Ajman Civil Defence is finalising plans to kick-start a similar campaign.

“We will be holding a press conference to launch the awareness campaign and, as with all other emirates, our event will be tied closely with the Year of Giving launched in the country,” said Col Al Nasir Al Zari, their head of media and public relations.

“We had 140 fires across the emirate during the first 10 months of 2016 compared to 259 in 2015. Last year, 22 were hurt, while in 2015, 34 were injured.”

Lt Col Al Tunaiji said smoke alarms are useful in buying people time when a fire erupts, particularly at night when people are asleep.

“The alarms will be a first line of defence where they can immediately call civil defence and tackle the blaze or run for safety,” he said.

“There were several fires in homes across the country that resulted in causalities, and now, this campaign will be the first step to emphasise the importance of these smoke detectors first of all, then next year, with cooperation with other authorities, homes will have to be fitted with the fire alarms.”

The Fujairah fire chief said an authorised list of fire safety equipment companies will be provided to the public.

In December, the General Command of Civil Defence launched its awareness plan for 2017 and it is geared towards preventive awareness among the public.

The General Commander of Civil Defence, Major General Jassem Mohammed Al Marzouqi, said the plan for this year is to intensify awareness campaigns on home safety and the use of smoke detectors, evacuation of buildings, firefighting, use of extinguishers, petrol stations safety, winter camps safety and crowding near accidents.

tzriqat@thenational.ae