New fire hazards alert for Bahrain homes

02.08.2009 Bahrain

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Shoddy wiring and poorly-maintained electrical equipment could turn thousands of Bahraini homes into potential fire hazards this summer, authorities have warned.

The temptation to leave air-conditioning units switched on the whole day and overuse of power sockets could also have disastrous consequences, said Civil Defence deputy director-general Colonel Mohammed Showaiter.

'We see too many fires caused by the misuse of equipment,' he told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.

'Cheap appliances with bad wiring are a real fire risk.

'Other things that are far too common is people using lots of adaptors on one plug and loose wiring in light switches, which can overheat and catch fire.'

There are also hazards at labour camps if there are split houses with too many partitions that all draw electricity from a small number of sources, he said.

'We also see examples of houses with many air-conditioning units drawing power from one source.

'People seem to leave their air-conditioning units on for long periods of time, this is not recommended.

'Especially in case of people using split units without shutting them off.

'Window air-conditioning can also overheat and set fire to curtains, and before long whole buildings can be damaged.'

He said watchmen are often not qualified to undertake electrical work and tenants should be extra cautious, especially during the summer months.

'Everybody should thoroughly check all their switches and if they overheat, it is a good indicator that they need an electrician.



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