Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: With the Christmas holidays in full swing, authorities expect a swarm of residents to set up camp sites in the desert.

But before rushing out to enjoy a family barbecue, the Ministry of Interior has offered a word of advice.

The ministry warned that disaster can strike at any time, and urged campers to follow these five rules to avoid a fire from breaking out at the camp site.

How to avoid a fire in camps

  1. All light sources and lanterns should be kept at least 50 centimetres away from the tent.
  2. Do not use heated equipment, such as barbeques and coal, inside the tent.
  3. Ensure a fire extinguisher is available nearby or inside the tent.
  4. Do not use open flames, such as candles or lighters, inside the tent.
  5. Firewood must be stored away from the tent by a minimum of 15 feet at any given time.

Dubai Municipality also pointed out that residents who dump their rubbish in the desert and set up fires in public places will be slapped with a Dh500 fine.

The municipal guidelines also state that burning coal should not be left unattended at night as it is can be a fire hazard.

Safe camping

According to the Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, a number of guidelines concerning camping outdoors are in place to ensure that campers are safe outdoors.

Some dos and donts of camping in the desert. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Campers were also advised to avoid mud floors which may be infested with scorpions, ants and other insects. Use flat lands that are free of stones and potholes to avoid creating a moist environment in the tent. The guidelines further stress avoiding shallow or semi-marsh areas in which water may appear as a result of a rise in sea-level.

Use a suitable four-wheel-drive car for easy movement and carry all the required maintenance tools to aid you in the event of any damage to the tyres. Above all, learn how to change a tyre before heading out on a camping trip.

Do not drive into valleys when it is raining and always pay attention to the road.

When visiting wadis, avoid pouring water in small burrows as it can push scorpions out and other harmful insects. Take precaution when lifting rocks as you do not know what kind of harmful animals or insects may be hidden nearby.