As food – both the absence and the abundance of it – becomes the focus for many Qatar residents during the fasting month of Ramadan, the Ministry of Interior has posted several safety tips on its Facebook page regarding food preparation.
Many are common sensical, but serve as a good reminder during a busy month, when lack of food and water during the day tend to make people more absent-minded. The tips include:
- Safeguard against food poisoning. Before eating something, make sure there are no changes in the food’s smell, color or texture. Ensure food is stored in the refrigerator, or in closed containers. Dine only at places where food is served in a neat and clean environment.
- Follow kitchen safety protocols. In the event of a grease fire, avoid pouring water into a pan full of oil, which would only exacerbate the blaze. Put out the burning pan by covering it with a heavy lid or blanket. If a fire breaks out in a garbage can, put it out by covering it with a damp cloth. Ensure that you have a working fire extinguisher in the home. Keep kids away from hot and burning materials, as well as electrical outlets. And avoid cooking while wearing flowing dresses.
- Deal with gas leaks properly. If you smell a leak, immediately open all doors and windows to help dissipate the gas. Don’t turn on the exhaust fan for ventilation or switch on the lights, because that may ignite the flammable gas. Finally, never use a match near a gas tank that is leaking.
MOI has also offered some tips for when residents are outside the home. They include:
- Don’t rush when the sun is going down. It’s no secret that Qatar’s roads can downright dangerous at sunset, when people are hurrying to break their fasts. If you need to be somewhere around 6:30pm, leave earlier to reach your destination on time.
- Keep an eye out for children. Designate specific play areas for kids. Make sure they don’t play in alleys around residential areas at nighttime to avoid any traffic accidents.
- Be considerate. Don’t double park other vehicles, especially during prayer times or iftar gatherings.
- Plan ahead. Try to finish Eid shopping early to avoid the rush that happens during the end of Ramadan, when traffic increases and parking is hard to find.
- Walk safely. Pedestrians are advised to look both ways before crossing the road to ensure no cars are approaching, especially during peak traffic times. Use designated crossing areas to ensure safety.
The MOI also advises motorists to drive more cautiously on the 14th night of Ramadan, which is Garangao. Qatari children typically observe this tradition by walking around residential neighborhoods, singing songs and collecting candy and nuts from their neighbors.
Finally, the ministry asks people to report panhandlers and in the event of an emergency, to always call 999.
What other tips would you add? Thoughts?