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20 February 2018 05:18 pm

Fire safety tips to keep in mind this winter in Qatar

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Fire Safety

If you’ve been enjoying those cool-weather desert campfires, or using an electric heater to keep you toasty at home as the mercury plummets during the evenings, are you sure you’re putting safety first? Qatar’s cooler winter temperatures may have us seeking out warmth through the use of wood, coal, space heaters and other methods that can be potentially hazardous due to their flammable risk.

However, by taking certain precautions, coupled with common sense, there’s no reason these items and methods can’t be used safely in a way that minimizes the danger of fire. Here’s some sound advice from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior to keep in mind when it comes to fire safety this winter:

Electricity and Heaters

  • When purchasing an electric space heater, a good rule of thumb is to make sure it’s from a reliable brand, while double-checking the quality of its electrical fittings.
  • When plugging in the heater, avoid using a power strip shared with other appliances or electronic devices. Instead, plug the heater into the nearest direct outlet socket adequate to its electric current.
  • Avoid overloading the heater with an electric load or current that’s greater than its voltage capacity – as this can lead to over-heating and combustion.
  • Make sure to switch off heaters before you leave the house or go to sleep at night.

Camping Trip Fire Safety

  • This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised that setting a camp-fire inside the confines of a tent or mobile accommodation while on a desert camping trip is one of the main causes of injury and damage to property.
  • Be sure all fire sources are thoroughly extinguished while sleeping in the tent.
  • When setting a campfire be sure that all proper fire prevention methods are in place – including digging a proper fire pit, and fire barriers around the open flame.
  • Always make sure you have a working fire extinguisher with you at all times.
  • When using gas heaters during a camping trip, use caution to make sure there are no defects in its wiring or fittings that could lead to a carbon dioxide gas leak and subsequent suffocation.
  • Stoves, generators, petroleum liquids should be placed in a secure spot, away from the risk of being toppled by wind and spreading flame.
  • Fuel for operating electrical machines should be kept in a secure, tightly-sealed container away from the reach of children.

Wood or Coal Use

  • Using wood or coal for heat inside houses or tents can create toxic carbon monoxide emissions that can lead to suffocation, poisoning, irreversible brain damage, and even death.
  • When burning such materials in enclosed spaces, be sure that proper ventilation is in place so build-up of noxious gases is prevented and they have room to escape the space.
  • Where possible rather than using wood or coal, substitute it with other approved heating devices.
  • Always follow and obey safety instructions and in case of any suspicious symptoms that could indicate carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the space immediately, head for an open area and call 999 for emergency services.  

How do you practice safe camping or winter heating practices? Was this article helpful to you? If you have any other advice or tips we should add drop us a line and let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to like and share this article!

(All images courtesy of iStock by Getty Images)