children at balcony
Children must not be allowed to go into the balconies unsupervised Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Sharjah: Although balconies are good for a breath of fresh and sunlight, they can also be an eyesore and worse, a place of serious accidents - if you don’t watch out.

That’s the message that the Sharjah Municipality is out to convey in a campaign warning residents not to misuse balconies.

The ongoing campaign hopes to raise public awareness about the need to keep balconies safe and clean.

Thabit Salem Obaid Al Tarifi, Director General of Sharjah Municipality, said the campaign has been specially launched to educate community members about the specific safety requirements inside and outside the house. The campaign employs different languages.

One area of focus of the campaign is on the safety of young children as care needs to be taken to ensure they don’t go out into the balconies unsupervised and also take measures to secure the place to prevent falls.

Al Tarifi said that the civic body is distributing booklets, brochures and pamphlets to residents to make them aware of the rules and highlight the dangers of keeping chairs, tables etc in the reach of children. Similarly, throwing cigarette butts and barbecuing can lead to fires.

He said residents must avoid these activities in order to maintain their safety.

Storing unused furniture on balconies could prove to be dangerous as children could step on them and fall. Residents were also warned against leaving the balcony doors open. They were urged to install suitable barriers in the balconies after obtaining a permit from the municipality. They were reminded about not hanging their laundry in the balcony as it distorts the overall appearance.

The municipality also used its social media accounts to convey the message of maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the city.

Al Tarifi urged the public to call the municipality hotline 993 to report any violation, stressing that the team will immediately transfer the complaint to the department concerned to take appropriate action.