KUWAIT CITY, July 29, (KUNA): Supervisors of sites under constructions are responsible for most of fire incidents erupted in those sites in Kuwait, Kuwait’s top fireman said.
But Kuwait Fire Service Directorate “does not cover on arson and is ready to take necessary measures against anyone trying to mess with security of the country, safety of people and properties,” General Khaled Al-Mekrad, KFSD Director General, said.
He underlined that KFSD “is acting in a transparent manner … and is not ready to cover on any person.” Al-Mekrad, in an interview with KUNA, said KFSD was taking “necessary measures” against anyone causing the fires “regardless of that person’s identity.
The fire directorate, he added, revealed the “real causes” of every fire in its report, which is “supported by evidence like photos and samples and testimonies of eyewitnesses.” The reports, which he said were produced “without any pressure,” were published in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior’s Criminal Evidence Department.
Al-Mekrad said the number of deliberate fires in 2016 reached 409.
Al-Mekrad attributed most of fire incidents in buildings under construction to the way the iron was cut inside the site, causing sparks to start fire when they land on woods.
This same reason caused the fire incidents in Sabah Al-Salem University City, Kuwait Credit Bank under construction building and another tower site in Sharq, downtown, he said.
Al-Mekrad said workers should not cut the iron inside the project. But if they want to, he added, they should make sure the sparks would not reach the huge amount of woods used in the project.
The garages fire in the Sharq Industrial area was due to an electrical short circuit in one of the garages’ air condition unit, Al-Mekrad mentioned, adding that the area’s poor organizational structure has delayed the arrival of firefighting squads on time thus allowed the fire to expand further and become difficult to deal with.
“I have urged for removal of this poor area due to its sensitive location in the capital’s center, posing a major risk on the safety of buildings and people,” he said, stressing the importance of building an appropriate and special area for car garages.
Meanwhile, Al-Mekrad affirmed that KFSD performs its tasks to the fullest, including search operations, which covered 13,991 facilities, current and under construction, and storages in 2016.
Some 655 were referred to prosecution due to severe violations, prompting suspension of their files and transactions, he said, adding that around 21 facilities so far have been closed down in 2017, including storages, warehouses, companies, hotels, medical clinics, factories, and cellars.
Al-Mekrad also praised a number of state sectors, including Kuwait Municipality, Environment Public Authority, Public Authority for Industry, Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, Environment Police, and Removals Committee for their cooperation with KFSD in closing down some facilities that were not committed to precautionary requirements.
“Right now, we are working on removing severe and hazardous violations in Industrial Sulaibiya area that pose great danger on the safety of the society,” he noted.
He noted the great efforts exerted by the directorate’s media and press department in promoting awareness campaigns.
Non-commitment to safety standards and requirements is actually a problem, Al-Mekrad said, noting that the directorate has voiced strong messages that stressed the importance of having fire extinguishers inside houses.
He also expressed his discontent with the current punishments in the Fire Law, adding that the Directorate is currently working to draft a new law that would increase financial and transactional punishments.