What ignites fire and how to prevent it? ROP gives safety tips

MUSCAT, MAY 15 – With the onset of summer and high temperature, fire incidents are common in vehicles, houses, factories, warehouses or farm fires, resulting in human and material losses. In order to ensure the safety of life and property, Royal Oman Police has issued guidelines to community members to avoid and prevent fire incidents. According to Colonel Ahmed al Ajmi, Director of Civil Defence and Ambulance in North Al Batinah Governorate, vehicles should be subjected to periodic maintenance and the tyres should be checked to ensure their quality.
“The major causes of vehicle fires are lack of periodic maintenance, insufficient level of water in the engine cooler and installation of additional devices that increase the pressure on the engine or power,” he said. A suitable fire extinguisher (carbon dioxide or dry chemical powder) should be placed inside the vehicle and it should be easily reachable. “In the event of a high temperature of the vehicle, the driver should instantly pull over and shouldn’t leave inflammable or explosive materials inside the vehicle, especially in the day time,” he said.
On house fires, Colonel Al Ajmi said that the most common reasons are lack of maintenance of electrical connections and installation of faulty electrical gadgets that do not meet the specifications and loading plugs by connecting several devices in one socket exceeding its capacity.
“This is in addition to leaving electrical devices on for a long time, that causes raising the temperature of devices and then explosion,” he said.
Some people do not pay attention to the necessity of connecting the cable to a static ground floor collector to discharge electricity.
Also they allow unqualified people to instal and maintain electrical connections, and using the low quality products.
“There is also a danger lies in the placement of gas cylinders under the sun causing high temperature, and explosions,” he said.
In order to avoid electricity fires and their dangers, Al Ajmi advised to follow preventive measures by avoiding touching the devices with wet hands, avoiding tampering with the devices and trying to repair them as this should be left to competent persons.
The electrical connections should be far from the passages and they should be installed away from heat or under carpets. Good connections that meet international standards should be used, the devices and tools must be switched off immediately after use, and should be checked continuously.
He reiterated that smoke detectors are a must in homes.
In cases of fire, the fire extinguishers should be commensurate with the quality of the flammable material in the fire and in case of the inability to disconnect the power supply, the person should use fire extinguishers that do not have electrical conductivity and that have no harmful effect on electrical devices like dry chemical powders and carbon dioxide until the arrival of civil defence and ambulance.
Al Ajmi pointed out that the owners of farms cause the fire in their farms by themselves as they don’t make sure of the direction of the wind before burning their agricultural wastes. They also don’t equip their farms with water hoses as well as the exposure of fertilisers to the heat and moisture, which are self-burning. Fertilisers should be placed in shaded places. Other causes include the abandonment of farms and leaving them for misconduct practices. The Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance in various areas conducts awareness programmes for individuals and institutions to reduce the proportion of fire through cooperation in reducing the causes.
In factories, a continuous maintenance to devices should be operated and to avoid loading devices more than their capacity. The proper storage of materials will help reducing cases of fires and getting rid of the flammable wastes in an organised matter will certainly save the community and individuals the loses. “Workers should be informed that smoking inside factories is prohibited and electricity must be cut immediately in cases of fire,” he added.