SHARJAH // Fines and warnings for fire safety offences in Sharjah's industrial areas fell 35 per cent in the first seven months of this year. Inspectors issued 11,725 fines and warnings between January 1 and July 31 compared with 18,049 during the same period last year. The decline was due to an increase in inspections and strict warnings to violators, said Hareeb al Tunaiji, the director of the Sharjah Inspection Committee.
The use of gas ovens in labour camps was one of the major safety issues highlighted by the committee. "We have urged employers to provide a suitable alternative to labourers as gas stoves are prone to fires in the congested labour camps," said Mr al Tunaiji. "Our approach initially is to warn. We ask the violator to sign an agreement with us to stop the violations in 15 days." The emirate faces a constant threat of fire during the summer months, especially in its industrial areas, where chemical solvents can prove hazardous. The emirate has experienced some major fires this summer, including one that destroyed five warehouses at the National Paints factory and another that gutted the Al Kuwait apartment building.
The committee handed down 9,669 warnings and 2,056 fines to companies that persisted in breaking fire safety rules, Mr al Tunaiji said. If offenders did not follow the regulations, the municipality would cut off water and power supplies and then issue fines. If they continued to offend, the committee could withdraw a company's trading licence and ban it from obtaining one in the future, Mr al Tunaiji said.
The committee is also tasked with ensuring the safety of Ramadan tents in the emirate, each of which will have to pass an inspection. Tents that did not submit themselves for inspection would be fined up to Dh1,000, Mr al Tunaiji said. The committee is comprised of Sharjah Municipality and Civil Defence officials. It has 98 inspectors overseeing more than 60,000 business premises. email@example.com