The report ‘Ten members of an Omani family die in deadly Saham fire’ once again reminded us of the value of having safety equipment such as fire detectors at private houses and apartment buildings.
The Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances’ call on conducting periodic checks on fire equipment is also a reminder that people should be able to use them in emergency situations. The Saham incident was heartbreaking, as most of the deceased were children.
Even though it is mandatory for private apartment buildings to have fire safety equipment and obtain approval of concerned authorities, most of such equipment lack proper maintenance and apparently become ineffective in critical circumstances. It is important to have proper checks on fire equipment at frequent intervals either by authorised service providers or concerned authorities.
The property owners must also stop using counterfeit equipment. Several buildings have expired fire equipment and fire hose reels.
Although authorities have made it mandatory to install fire equipment in private apartment buildings, it is equally important to check them randomly to know whether they are valid and effective at the time of emergency. Fire detectors are installed for the safety of people and hence should be regularly monitored to see they are effective during crises.