Sunday morning, the Zen Tower in Dubai Marina caught on fire. Fortunately, the fire was swiftly put out and there were no reported injuries (bravo to the Dubai Fire Department!). The reality is, however, that most residents do not have home insurance in Dubai, and therefore many residents of the tower are likely to be left with huge bills to replace their home contents and personal belongings.
Better safe than sorry
Many Dubai residents have a “it would never happen to me” outlook when it comes to buying home insurance in Dubai. Unfortunately, house fires are one of the most common reasons for home insurance claims. In 2016, there were 215 reported fires in residential units in Dubai – that’s more than one fire every two days!
There is some good news, however. Since 2016 the UAE has seen a drop in number of fires! The drop has been attributed to rigorous Civil Defence staff training, use of latest technology, and awareness campaigns by Civil Defence across the country since December 2016. ServiceMarket wants you to be well-informed about the causes of home fires in Dubai so you can protect yourself and your family.
What are the most common reasons for fires in homes in Dubai?
The three most common causes for home fires are:
- Electrical equipment: Items such as irons and hair straighteners are often the culprits.
- Faulty wiring in building: Electrical sparks caused by faulty wiring can cause serious fires. For this reason, it’s important to always hire a reputable and licensed electrical company to do any required electrical work in your home.
- Smoking and barbecues: This is why barbecues are typically banned on balconies in apartment buildings. If you or one of your family members smoke, then it’s important to make sure that the cigarette is put out properly, and never thrown out of the window.
How to protect yourself against fires
Make sure that you take the following precautionary steps to protect your family against home fires:
- One of the best ways to protect your family against such fires is to ensure that your home is protected against damage due to fires buy buying home insurance. The cost of home insurance starts from as little as AED 200 a year, and you could end up having to fork out thousands to replace your belongings if your home was damaged by a fire without a policy.
- Ensure that each room in your home has a working fire alarm and that you have a fire extinguisher and blanket easily accessible in your home. Make sure to check your fire alarms frequently as most alarms operate using batteries that need periodic replacing.
- Take care when leaving your home. Before leaving, take the time to walk around your home and double check that you have turned all electrical equipment and lights off.
- It’s also important that you and your family members understand what to do in case of a fire. Sit down with your family and explain the steps in detail. Discuss things like:
- Where the fire exits are in your building. People often ignore the fire drills in their apartment buildings, however, it’s a good idea to act out a fire scenario with your family – especially if you have younger children. Walk to the fire exits so everyone is clear on what they should do if a fire is ever reported in your building. Also, decide on a meeting spot outside of the building in case you lose each other while walking out.
- What to do when a fire starts. Make sure everyone understands that different fires should be addressed differently. Putting water on an oil-based fire will only make matters worse. If the fire is big, you should immediately contact the emergency services and exit the building without taking time to collect your personal belongings – don’t take any risks.
- Make sure your family members know the emergency contact numbers. The fire department in Dubai can be reached on 997 – ensure that all your family members know this number. Consider printing out all the emergency contact numbers and leave them up on your fridge. Also, if you live in an apartment building, keep your security guard’s number on hand as they are trained to know what to do in case of emergency situations.
How can we help?
On ServiceMarket you can easily compare policies and buy your home insurance online. Simply enter your details online to instantly see quotes from the best home insurance companies in Dubai.