39.6 C
Doha
Monday, July 26, 2021

New draft legislation seeks to improve Qatar fire safety response

-

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s state Cabinet has approved new measures to strengthen the nation’s fire safety regulations, including setting up a body that would be tasked with declaring national emergencies in the event of a disaster, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reports.

At its weekly meeting, the Cabinet approved a draft law and several ministerial decisions regarding Civil Defense, which have been forwarded to the Advisory (Shura) Council for consideration.

Among the proposals were standardizing the teaching of fire and emergency safety principles in schools and allowing private companies to set up safety training centers for the first time.

The Cabinet also endorsed the idea of setting up a Supreme Council of Civil Defense that would set overall policy on fire fighting, civil defense and emergency preparedness.

The proposals appear to enhance existing Civil Defense legislation (Law No. 13 of 1997, and Law No. 9 of 2012) that put the Minister of Interior in charge during disasters.

Currently, all firefighting and civil defense-related activities are undertaken by the Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) General Directorate of Civil Defense, which will continue to be responsible for these tasks under the new legislation.

Proposals

Among the changes ratified by the Cabinet was a ministerial decision to break the current government monopoly on the provision of fire safety and civil defense skills by allowing private firms to set up and operate training centers.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

These companies must be wholly Qatari-owned and, under the provisions, may be granted an operating license for three years, on a renewable basis.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal stating that the basics of civil defense and fire-fighting should be taught in all schools, religious institutes and training centers.

Measures aimed at improving safety explicit a requirement for all designs of new state (government) buildings to be submitted to the MOI, which will scrutinize and approve fire detection system plans.

The new proposals also state that licenses for commercial, industrial and general stores will not be granted until they are inspected and deemed to have a valid fire detection system, and the owners of all such properties will be required to regularly maintain the systems.

These measures would appear to be an attempt to bolster existing legislation, tightening regulations on fire safety and educating the wider public on basic safety measures.

Villaggio Mall
Villaggio Mall

The proposals come nearly three years after 19 people were killed in a fire in Villaggio shopping mall. At the time, the 2012 tragedy forced authorities to examine other malls and public buildings to ensure they met basic safety regulations.

In the aftermath, Qatar’s Civil Defense also instructed all institutions, including private and public companies, hotels, apartment buildings and restaurants, to shore up their fire prevention and safety measures or face immediate closure, following spot-checks.

Fires in buildings in Qatar are not unusual, most commonly breaking out in under-construction buildings or in warehouses and storage facilities.

For example, the newly-opened Fire Station art hub had two outbreaks during its refurbishment last year.

And just last month, a fire broke out on the roof of a tower being built in the Dafna/West Bay area. It continued for several hours before it was brought under control.

Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Isn’t it meaningless if the people who break the rules get a nice job in Brussels rather than actually facing the consequences?

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  AEC

“get a nice job”??? … The fire was on May 28, 2012. The ambassador to Brussels got the Job on December 25,2011.

Yi
Yi
6 years ago

Stop embarrassing him like that, but don’t worry there’s always a dumb comeback.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

So, actually they could have recalled him if they had any justice.

Truth101
Truth101
6 years ago

Yes and in the REAL world, ”his excellency” would have been recalled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the morning of the 29th of May 2012 and would have been relieved of his position as ambassador pending investigation.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Truth101

Pending an investigation? You do realize he, and 4 others, were found guilty of manslaughter by the court?

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Given the absolute ignorance of fire safety issues at every level that is endemic in Qatar there should be suitable safety fire training courses set up and it should be mandatory for building owners and building managers to attend them. As a former Property Director it grieves me to recall some of the things I have seen in hotels and housing in Doha.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

private companies to set up safety training centers for the first time — $$$

I wonder who will be given the license to operate these centers?

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago

Maybe legislation regarding minimum wage for the fire fighters can be “drafted” as well. The paltry 5000 to these mainly Morrocan men is miserable and considering they are the ones running into the burning building.

Truth101
Truth101
6 years ago

Are you serious about that pay scale?!

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  Truth101

Absolutely, many go without a pay rise, I know a man on this amount who has not had a pay rise for 5 years.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.