Due to the recent cold conditions that have been prevalent in the country and anticipating the use of heaters and fireplaces, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has emphasised the need to be cautions while making use of such appliances.

“Although, the heating appliances become a necessity during the winter time, they come with their own set of risks especially fire breakouts or suffocation, which may even lead to fatalities”, the Ministry said in an advisory shared on its official social media accounts.

A variety of heaters are popular in Qatar, depending whether they are to be used indoors or outdoors. While the heaters that run-on electricity, gas, oil and kerosene are usually used for indoor purposes and coal based heaters are used outdoors, such as at camping locations.

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All residents who are making use of the space heaters or fireplaces must ensure that all safety and protection measures have been taken, such that any untoward incident can be avoided, the Ministry said in its advisory.

The precautions that must be taken while making use of the heaters include not keeping any inflammable products in the vicinity of the heater. Curtains, electronics and furniture too should be kept at a safe distance from the heater.

The advisory issued by the Ministry also pointed out that a ‘kid free-zone’ must be established around open fires and people in no circumstances should use an oven to warm their home.

It is important that residents only hire qualified and certified professionals to install or service their central heating, water hearts or other heating equipment; doing so will ensure that the job is done in compliance with all the standard codes and regulations and the manufacturer specifications.

The Ministry also added that people must not forget to turn the portable heaters off when it is not in use or before going to bed and people must also use that type of fuel for their equipment which the manufacturer has specified.

Electric extension cords must not be overloaded beyond their capacity and older units should be disposed of, if they show signs of wear and tear, the Ministry added.