Staying safe as the mercury shoots up in Qatar
When photos of car dashboards displaying rising temperatures keep popping up, we know then that the summer’s here. Rising temperatures increase the chances of accidents and mishaps around the home and outside. The temperature has been hovering in the high 40s (C) this last week.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe during this season.
- In the kitchen:
- When you are not cooking, make sure all gas appliances are turned off.
- While cooking, keep windows slightly open and turn on the exhaust to ventilate the area.
- Make sure that your kitchen is equipped with a fire extinguisher and fire blanket.
- Make sure that gas cylinder, gas hose and fittings are regularly checked for gas leaks or cracks.
- To check for any presence of gas leaks in the hose, wipe the area with soapsuds. Any gas leaks will appear in the form of bubbles.
Fire Safety at Home
If you would like to learn about ‘Fire Safety at Home’, including a practical fire demonstration, how to use a fire extinguisher and more, the Qatar Foundation HSSE Directorate is organizing a Community Fire Safety Campaign that you should check out.
When: Friday, May 30, 1pm to 5pm
Where: Clubhouse Lot 4, Education City
- Grill and barbecue activities:
- Keep your barbecue grills clean by removing grease that collects within it.
- Always maintain a three-foot distance between the grill and kids to ensure that they do not knock it down; also keep them at least ten feet away from your house.
- Place fire extinguisher within arm’s reach of the grill; do not place any flammable items close to the grill.
- Make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of liquid dish soap and water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. With the grill lid open, turn the gas on. If the soap forms large bubbles, that’s a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough
- For gas grills, never turn on the gas with the grill lid closed. This might cause gas to build up inside the grill and may cause an explosion when you lift the lid.
- Fit your house with the fire fighting & fire alarm system.
- A new extinguisher must be recharged after two years, and then annually. Shake your fire extinguisher every 1-2 months to prevent the chemical from solidifying. For extinguishers that come with gauges, check if the pressure needle lies in the green area. If it lies on the red zone, it’s time to get it recharged.
- Install a heat detector at your kitchen. Heat detectors will trigger fire alarm once the temperature reaches 90 degrees Celsius and higher.
- You can also install gas detectors. They detect presence of various gases within the area. This equipment can be interfaced with the existing alarm system to alarm the people in the area where the leak is occurring.
- Every room should be fitted with a sprinkler system or else at a minimum a smoke detector and fire extinguisher.
- Fire fighting and fire alarm system should be checked by a third party to ensure they serve their purpose.
- Make sure your false ceiling and walls are made of non-combustible materials. Gypsum Board is non-combustible, fire resistant material, lightweight and easy to install.
- Keep combustible materials such as rugs, curtains or tablecloth away from wires and cables. Sparks from your cables can cause a fire and will spread if any combustible material comes in contact.
- Invest in better brands. Electrical appliances of substandard quality are cheaper but susceptible to fires. Good quality appliances are a little expensive but are definitely safer. Click here to read our earlier article on electrical safety.
- Since you will be using your air-conditioners 24/7 during summers, it’s advisable to have it regularly checked and cleaned at least every quarterly. Accumulation of dust in the window or split can result in overheating of motors and compressors, which can cause a fire.
- Personal care:
- Always stay hydrated! Dehydration causes headaches, nausea and possibly even heatstrokes. This is the most important thing to do for yourself during the summer. Consuming a lot of water helps to maintain all biochemical reactions within the body by supplying nutrients and removing waste. Try to reduce your consumption of caffeine as it is a diuretic and drains the body of water.
- Wear light-coloured loose-fitting clothes that are made from natural fibres such as cotton. These reflect heat off the body and help to maintain normal temperature. Also use a sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.
- Try not to eat foods with too much protein as they increase metabolic activity within the body. Plan your meals well. Consume plenty of fresh fruit and raw vegetables though.
Photo Courtesy: Daly3d on Flickr