All residential and commercial buildings and complexes in Qatar have to fully implement all safety requirements, failing which they could be shut down, the Prevention Department at the General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD) warned. Ramping up pressure on public and private entities to comply with safety requirements, the department gave the owners and the operators of buildings 30 days to implement security-related measures on their premises.
In a statement issued by the department, which comes under the Ministry of Interior, all public and private institutions, companies and complexes, both commercial and residential ones, and hotels have been told to abide by public safety rules and regulations, especially related to fire prevention and fighting requirements.
“These requirements include fire alarm, ventilation, and fire extinguishing systems as well as safe emergency exits,” the statement said.
Stressing the importance of preparedness, the department asked companies and institutions to train safety and security personnel in evacuation plans.
The department offered to provide training on emergency measures, including first aid procedures.
The staff working in all these premises have to compulsorily attend such training says a report in the local Arabic press.
The General Directorate of Civil Defence also announced that the concerned authorities would conduct “surprise and intensive inspections” to ensure that the safety equipment on the premises were in perfect working condition. “Such systems and their efficiency” are of utmost importance to public safety.
“Those who violate safety rules will be charged according to the legal procedures,” the statement said.
“The penalty may reach up to closure of the facility in case the requirements are not met within a maximum period of 30 days from this announcement,” it added.
The General Directorate of Civil Defence called upon all stakeholders to join the early warning system by connecting to the operation room of the GDCD and to take all necessary measures to protect lives and property.
Urging the public to bring lax safety conditions to the notice of the authorities, the official spokesman asked the residents to call 44895151 and inform the authorities about “irregularities or misdeeds”.
“In the event of seeing any irregularities or misdeeds on safety regulations, the members of the public may communicate with the General Directorate of Civil Defence at 44895151 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,” the statement said.
The directive comes in the wake of the devastating fire in the Villaggio mall that claimed 19 lives, including 13 children and two firefighters.
With the onset of summer there have been a rise in the number of minor fire incidents in the country and the authorities want to ensure no more lives are lost in such cases, a source said.