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Minimum standards on fire prevention and response in the Kurdistan region of Iraq

CCCM Cluster
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Fire can be a significant cause of injury, death and loss of property in camps. Plans were put in place by CCCM and other partners across IDP and refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) to prevent and respond to fire incidents. These include establishing fire safety warden systems, providing training in partnership with the Civil Defence, developing information materials and conducting awareness raising campaigns, putting monitoring tools in place, establishing Fire Prevention/Response Task Forces, etc. Although fire prevention and response (FPR) initiatives are in place, there is a lack of a harmonized approach to FPR across camps in the different governorates.

While the responsibility and authority around FPR lies with the Civil Defence, their resources and capacity are overstretched due to the number of displaced persons being hosted in KRI. In light of that, partners operating in KRI highlighted the need of developing minimum standards to guide harmonized FPR activities. UNHCR, with the support of the CCCM Cluster, organized a workshop in KRI in April 2018 where humanitarian partners and government counterparts, including the Civil Defence, exchanged FRP best practices, lessons learned, and gaps, and discussed minimum standards.

The present document was developed by the CCCM Cluster based on the notes of the above-mentioned workshop and further consultations with technical colleagues in KRI, including from the Shelter and NFIs Cluster. The document outlines suggested minimum standards for FPR in six thematic areas, as follows:

  • FPR awareness

  • Firefighting community structures

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Electrical system

  • Fire breaks

  • Information management

The FPR activities outlined in the present document focus on community-based initiatives that aim to prevent fire incidents and contain fire at its source when it occurs.