Interior of the house after the deadly fire that gutted a villa in Abu Dhabi, killing eight members of a family. Image Credit: Instagram

Abu Dhabi: The Civil Defence and Abu Dhabi Police have called on the public to install smoke detectors in their homes and ensure maintenance of fire extinguishers to safeguard themselves in case of a fire.

The advisory was reiterated by the authorities in the aftermath of the fire on Tuesday morning that ripped through a villa in Abu Dhabi, killing eight members of an Emirati family. It was the latest in a string of fire deaths across the country this year.

In an interview to the media, Brigadier General Mohammad Mayouf Al Ketbi, Director General of Civil Defense Abu Dhabi, said, “The cost of a smoke alarm is not more than the value of one’s families and children and their safety.”

The cause of the fire on Tuesday, he said, is under investigation, but he said it could have been due to an electrical short circuit.

“The incident occurred before Fajr prayers and our team reached the scene in nine minutes,” he said, “The family was sleeping when the fire broke out and they died of suffocation by smoke.”

The two-and-a-half storey villa is located in Bani Yas East 7, opposite Al Imam Al Nawawi Mosque, on the outskirts of the capital.

Al Ketbi said that smoke inhalation can be lethal for a person who is asleep when a fire breaks out. “That is why people should observe maximum precautions before going to bed and avoid leaving mobile phones on charge mode and make sure the airconditioning is functioning normally, and that electrical supplies are in working order.”

Absence of these safety measures, he said, are the main reasons behind home fires, while urging residents to comply with safety requirements.

Meanwhile, in its efforts to complete the centralised fire-alarm receiving system across the UAE, the Civil Defence is going full steam ahead to link all buildings and villas of the country to a centralised fire alarm system.

In Abu Dhabi, more than 2,000 buildings have been connected to the operation rooms of the Civil Defence.