RIYADH — There were a staggering 40,200 fires last year, of which over 65 percent were house fires, a report by the Operation Affairs of the General Directorate of Health Affairs in the Kingdom revealed Saturday. The report made public on the eve of World Civil Defense Day, indicated a remarkable increase in the number of fires all over the Kingdom.
The report attributed the main cause of house fires, and those in commercial and industrial facilities, to short circuits. There were 14,260 such cases in 2011 registering an increase of 65 percent over the previous year.
The second leading cause of house fires, according to the report, was children tampering with switches and appliances and playing with fire which resulted in 10,900 fires as compared to 2,000 the previous year.
Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Abdullah Al-Amr, Assistant Director General of the Directorate of Civil Defense, said the increase in the number of fires caused by short circuits should serve as an alarm regarding the quality of electric connections and their maintenance as well as the importance of assigning professional and well-trained electricians to install safe power supplies.
He stressed the importance of making children aware of the measures they should take to protect themselves from house fires. — SG/SPA