Dubai: Have you equipped yourself with enough information to know how to react in an emergency?
Whether it is a small house fire or an accidental drowning, Abu Dhabi’s official online government portal - tamm.Abudhabi - has provided detailed tips for possible home emergencies that can help save lives and reduce casualties.
Here is a breakdown of how you can prevent accidents from happening and what you should do in case you are faced with such an emergency:
According to the Tamm website, these are some of the main causes of domestic fires:
• Poor fire safety infrastructure in old houses.
• Improper electrical devices and networks.
• Improper gas cylinders and systems.
• Unapproved construction alterations in houses.
• Unmonitored ignitions sources.
General tips to avoid domestic fire
• Use only high quality approved electrical devices, equipment, and network.
• Maintain all electrical wires periodically and ensure that any open electrical wiring is fixed immediately.
• Ensure that all electrical devices, which are not in use are not plugged in.
• Make sure that all sockets that can be reached by children are switched off.
• Never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended.
• Keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.
• Ensure that the stove, gas pipes and joints have been installed properly.
• Do not leave the kitchen for a long period of time when cooking.
• Make sure that the stove is turned off and small appliances are unplugged before going to bed.
• Leave at least a one-metre distance between any source of fire or heat and flammable materials.
• Keep dangling clothing away from fire sources and keep curtains and other flammable items away from the stove.
How to Prepare for Cases of Emergency
• Smoke or heat detectors, alarm systems and fire extinguishers should be part of the standard equipment of every home.
• The family’s guardian should know about the different types of extinguishers used for different types of fires and how to use them in case of emergency.
• Stairs and doorways should never be blocked, and windows not barred, to evacuate the house quickly.
• Each house should have at least one obstacle free emergency exit.
• External stairs can help in escaping from upper storeys.
• A safety plan should be available for all family members of the household.
• Responsibilities like waking children up and evacuating children, seniors and people with special needs should be assigned.
• Children should be trained on how to deal with house fires.
• Each family member should know the most important emergency numbers in Abu Dhabi.
Police - 999
Ambulance - 998
Fire emergency - 997
Falling from windows or balconies
Lack of adults' supervision is a key factor in children falling out of windows and balconies. While it is almost impossible that parents keep their eyes on children 24 hours a day, seven days a week, fatal falls can still be avoided by taking these precautions:
• Avoid putting furniture or other objects under the windows, so children do not use it to climb to the window.
• Make sure balconies and windows are raised by 120 centimetres from the surface.
• Ensure that windows are properly locked and cannot be opened for more than 10 cm by using regular force.
Drowning in bath basins and swimming pools is the most common cause of children drowning at home, which is usually the result of leaving children unmonitored. To avoid drowning, it is recommended to follow these tips:
• Monitor the child and do not leave him or her in the bath or swimming pool alone for any amount of time.
• Provide family members, visitors and guests who are non-swimmers with appropriate swimming equipment to keep them afloat.
• Equip the pool area with a reasonable number of ring buoys, depending on the pool capacity.
• Install non-slip floor tiles around the swimming pool.
• Add safety barriers around the pool.
• Cover large fish aquariums to avoid children falling in them.
• Surround fountains with barriers to keep children away.
Food poisoning or other forms of poisoning occur because of eating rotten food or non-edible items such as cleaning material. To avoid poisoning, the following tips are recommended:
• Check the expiry date of the items prior to meal preparation.
• Do not heat the food more than once.
• Save perishable items in the correct, recommended manner in the refrigerator.
• Keep medicines, detergents, and insecticides out of the reach of children.
• If insecticides are used, children should be kept away from pesticides and masks and gloves should be worn.
Choking is one of the main causes of home-related injuries in children under the age of 14. To avoid suffocation, parents should follow these tips:
• Keep small items such as buttons, jewellery or coins, that can be easily swallowed away from children.
• Before buying any toys and games, pay careful attention to the recommended age range.
• Do not use petrol or flammable materials near children and do not buy fireworks and explosives.