Number of fires halved in Sharjah in 2020

Success attributed to Sharjah Civil Defence expanding their fleet, increased inspections and fire awareness campaigns on social media

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 05 MAY 2020. STANDALONE. Fire at the Abbco Tower near Nahda Park in Sharjah. Police and fire fighters responded to a blaze that was reported after 8:30. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Salam Al Amir. Section: National.

The number of fire-related incidents in Sharjah fell by more than half to 130 thanks to increased inspections and awareness campaigns in the emirate last year.

Fires fell 56 per cent from 299 in 2019, to 130 in 2020.

No deaths were recorded in 2020, compared to two fire-related mortalities in 2019.

After a spate of fires in industrial areas in 2019, blazes in those zones now make up less than 10 per cent of the total incidents in the emirate.

Due to Covid-19 we took our awareness campaigns to social media

Sharjah Civil Defence said that adding six vehicles to their fleet has cut the average response time to four minutes and forty one seconds.

“We have also increased the number of fire fighters by 72,” said Col Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director general of Sharjah Civil Defence.

Also two new civil defence centres opened last year in Al Dhaid and Kalba.

A smart monitoring system which links buildings with the central control room is also credited with improving response times.

“No one in the entire world can reach to zero fires, and our role is not only to combat fires but to also reduce and prevent them by increasing awareness campaigns and inspections,” he said.

With 186 people volunteering to work with the department, around 12 per cent of of Sharjah's residents have been targeted by multiple fire safety messages.

“Due to Covid-19 we took our awareness campaigns to social media.

"We launched several safety messages including being careful when it comes to home appliances, and buying ones that meet safety standards," explained Col Al Naqbi.

Campaigns also successfully targeted building owners and company executives, with a 28 per cent increase in the number of those investing in civil defence related activities.

It is hoped this progress will reap dividends for Sharjah in the future.

“Creating a safe environment brings more investors,” he concluded.