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Industrial Blazes Expose Poor Safety Awareness

Major fires in Sharjah caused by faulty electrics and other factors

A spate of major industrial blazes has led to concerns about crumbling buildings and a culture of poor fire safety awareness among workers and business owners.

Faulty electrics, a lack of maintenance and even employees burning rubbish is among the causes of recent incidents.

Civil Defence chiefs said there needs to be greater awareness among the workforce and public about the dangers, particularly in the summer, when temperatures are high and buildings are dry and dusty.

“We see workers in industrial areas throwing away garbage and or leaving it to pile up, leaving it at at risk of catching fire," said Col Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director general of Sharjah Civil Defence, whose teams fought at least three major blazes that razed buildings to the ground in the past 10 days.

"Sometimes, they even burn the garbage."

Colonel Al Naqbi said there remains a need for an overhaul of safety standards, including harsher penalties for owners that fail to safeguard their buildings, careless workers that cause fires and broader awareness campaigns for the public.

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