Beware of winter fires


Al-Yaum newspaper

ACCORDING to the World Health Organization, around 200,000 people from around the world die in tragic house fires every year. This is a huge number. Many specialized studies have linked the increasing number of house fires to the winter season, meaning house fires occur more frequently in the cold months.

If we take a quick look at the house fires that occurred in the Kingdom over the past few years, we will realize that the above information is true and applies to us as well.

Around three years ago, a fire ripped through a house in Al-Khobar. Although it was not a big fire, a big column of black smoke billowed from the house, killing an old lady and her maid. They suffocated to death after inhaling too much smoke.

Last week, a house fire was reported in the local media, which was reportedly caused by a gas cylinder explosion. A professor of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and his daughter were both killed in the fire. The daughter had just returned from abroad after finishing her postgraduate studies in a Western country.

The tragic consequences of house fires are plenty. People who do not get killed in a fire end up with deformities for the rest of their life. Rarely would someone walk out unscathed from a house fire.

We do believe in acts of God but we also believe it is important for all of us to take safety measures to prevent fatal accidents like house fires. Everyone of us should have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors at home. By the way, they are not very expensive but they are essential and can save the life of family members.

The majority of fire reports have indicated that inhaling black smoke is the primary cause of death when a fire erupts in a house.

In the winter, we use heaters a lot while some prefer coal and others gas or electric heaters. But most of us do not take heed to the technical specifications of the devices that we use at home. We should be aware of such specifications and stick to them to prevent fire tragedies.