Sharjah: A man has been arrested for allegedly throwing burning shisha coal from his balcony on to the balconies of his neighbours below, Sharjah Police have said.
The incident, which occurred on May 31 in Al Khan, followed the Abbco Building fire in Al Nahda on May 5, which saw a 49 storey building quickly engulfed due to a cigarette butt or shisha coals being thrown from a balcony in similar circumstances. Twelve people were hospitalised in that incident.
The man involved in the second incident on May 31, which luckily resulted in no fire and no injuries, but still saw hot coals land on balconies below, has pleaded guilty and been charged, according to Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, Director of Sharjah Civil Defence.
Video of the second incident was sent to Civil Defence and police in the emirate, who identified and arrested the culprit.
The man was taken to Buhairah Police Station and charged with endangering lives.
“Despite repeated educational rounds conducted by Sharjah Police and Sharjah Civil Defence, some people still ignore safety tips to protect their lives as well as the lives of others,” said Al Naqbi.
Al Naqbi said that balcony fires can easily spread and potentially claim lives and render people homeless.
Many residents also store flammable materials on their balconies that can easily ignite sparks from cigarettes, shisha or barbecues, while wind can spread the blaze to neighbouring apartments.
Tips to keep yourself safe
- Never barbecue on a balcony
- Ensure used cigarettes are stubbed out and dispose of the cigarette properly
- Don’t throw cigarettes stubbed or otherwise over the balcony
- Never store flammable materials on your balcony
What the law says
UAE Cabinet law No.24 of 2012 and Sharjah Civil Defence No2 of 2020 Article 310
Whoever mistakenly causes the burning of something owned by others, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year or a fine not exceeding Dh10,000