Install fire detectors at homes, urge experts

MUSCAT: Although installation of fire detectors have not been made mandatory at homes in Oman, experts and rescuers insist on their installation to avoid casualties.

Loss of lives and damage to property due to fire incidents have become regular news headlines all across the Sultanate even as firefighters attend regularly panicky calls from citizens and residents.

Reports indicate that Public Authority for Civil Defense and Ambulance (PACDA) attends around 10 fire incidents, including vehicle fires, on an average day, especially during summer.

Smoke detectors are mandatory in commercial areas, industrial areas, business establishments, apartments and hotels and restaurants.

“Although not made mandatory by law, we regularly advise home owners that smoke detectors be installed as a precaution against likely incidents of fires”, said an official at PACA.

Studies reveal that smoke alarm systems have contributed a lot in saving lives in the past 30 years.

According to published statistics, globally, 70 per cent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke detector alarm systems or faulty smoke alarms. It is also reported that the presence of operational smoke alarms in a home reduces the risk of death in a fire by 50 per cent.

According to Dr. Bourdoucen Hadj, former Dean of the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University, smoke detectors are properly designed and installed in different locations, ceilings and high walls, as part of a central or networked smoke detection systems to provide early warnings for the protection of lives and properties from smoke and fire.

“Having smoke alarms installed in homes is one of the most important things to help keeping the family members safe from smoke and fire dangers”, he said.

He added that, with the ongoing development of fourth industrial revolution technologies and internet of things systems, the smoke detectors will become smarter and will provide better safety as the alarm notifications can be communicated to smartphones and Public Authorities for Civil Defense and Ambulance.