Dubai firefighters avert holiday tragedy

Woman praises Dubai Civil Defence for quickly removing leaking gas cylinder in her kitchen

21:06 September 3, 2017
NAT 170903 GAS

Dubai: A woman has praised the quick response of Dubai Civil Defence for averting potential tragedy during the Eid Al Adha holiday weekend after she discovered the gas cylinder in her kitchen was leaking.

After encountering the overpowering, “suffocating” smell in the kitchen around 10.30pm on Thursday, the woman said she first called the distributor of the gas cylinder to send a technician to her home to remove the cylinder.

After repeatedly calling the gas distributor’s emergency number for an update when the technician would arrive, Rekha Subramanyam said she grew more worried and called the fire department as a backup measure.

Dubai Civil Defence dispatched firefighters to her home in Al Nahda 2 within 15 minutes of her call for assistance.

Once on scene, firefighters immediately removed the cylinder from the home.

Dubai Civil Defence told Gulf News yesterday that it intervened in an emergency situation and removed the gas cylinder because it posed an immediate danger.

The response was necessary, said an official, because of the potential risk of fire and explosion from gas escaping from the cylinder.

Dubai Civil Defence reminded gas users that under normal conditions, it is not specialised in repairing or removing the gas cylinders and that it is the responsibility of the gas distributor to respond to residents’ requests.

Subramanyam, meanwhile, shudders to think of pending disaster if anyone in the family who were home on the holiday would have turned on the stove, toaster or sparked any kind of open flame.

“When the gas distributor didn’t turn up, I called Dubai Civil Defence. Within 15 minutes, they (firefighters) responded,” she told Gulf News. “They took the cylinder out of our home and put it outside away from the building. This could have been a disaster, my son and family were all at home at the time. It could been have been far worse.”

More than an estimated five hours after she placed the original call to the gas distributor, Subramanyam said a technician from the firm finally arrived at her home.


Safety tips when you smell gas

Instantly put out any open flames or possible sources of ignition.

If it is safe, turn off the gas source valve.

Evacuate the area where the gas is leaking.

When out of harm’s way, immediately call the gas distributor, if they do not respond, contact 999 emergency officials.

Stay out of the home until emergency authorities give the all clear.