A slip that can spark fire

A kitchen in a flat in Oman suddenly went up in flames and the house had no safety equipment. It took some effort from the neighbours to put out the blaze.
The cause of the fire was said to be a small leak in the gas pipe connecting the cylinder and the stove.
“We managed to get a fire extinguisher in time, otherwise things could have gone out of control,” said Sentil Krishnan, a tenant at that flat.
The incident is a cause for concern as it could happen anytime and anywhere.
It should serve as a warning for the residents of flats and apartments in the city. Despite the guidelines from the Muscat Municipality and the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), safety regulations have been given the go-by.
According to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), 13 fire-related cases were reported every day on average in 2017.
A total of 4,748 cases were handled by the PACDA in the Sultanate in 2017, of which 26 per cent were in the residential areas.
Apart from the financial loss due to damage to property, such incidents also put human lives at risk.
The total number of fire incidents dropped by 591 in 2017, compared with 4,157 cases in 2016 (3,684 in 2015). Nineteen people died and 59 were injured.
According to sources in the insurance sector, an audit of all the electric gadgets and home appliances was essential. The overloading of power points or extensions could lead to fires.
“Periodically get rid of old and unused wooden furniture or electrical wires because they can help spread fires immediately,” said a senior official of a leading insurance firm.
The easy availability of firefighting tools in quick-to-reach places can reduce the response time for the Civil Defence authorities when fire cases are reported, said an NCSI report.
People have been urged to avoid overloading of electrical plug points with multiple connections or charging at a same time.
“Any unusual heating of gadgets when charging should be immediately reported to the authorities,” said PACDA.
“People are negligent towards house fires. Anyone, including the firefighters, coming forward to help is in danger if the situation escalates,” said Moshin al Harthy, a resident of Al Amerat.
He said PACDA and the municipality should get tough on old buildings. “All fire safety equipment should be replaced as per requirements. Strict action should be taken against tenants as well as the house owners,” he said.
Some online tips: Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. One of the signs of bad wiring: Lights go dim if you plug in another electrical appliance.