UNDP and Austria support the 2020-2021 “Safe house - saves lives” campaign of the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (GIES). The campaign aims to encourage people to install smoke detectors in their houses in order to prevent the outbreak of fires.

A video was produced with the support of the UNDP project “Promotion of climate change and disaster risk reduction”, which is funded by Austrian Development Cooperation. It will be broadcast at national level to raise people’s awareness about fire prevention measures. The spot highlights the usefulness and functionality of smoke and toxic gas detectors in the cases of a fire or carbon monoxide release.

Carbon monoxide (CO) cannot be seen and has no smell, but intoxication with this gas may cause death. This gas is released by poorly maintained or adjusted heating systems in dwellings. It is also part of cigarette smoke. Moreover, CO molecules are so small that they can even penetrate walls. The source of carbon monoxide does not necessarily have to be in the same room. In many cases, the source of danger – such as, for example, a gas boiler – is in the cellar.

"Carbon monoxide is the most common cause of accidental fatal poisoning in industrialized countries worldwide," explains Diana Celac, Programme Manager at the Austrian Development Agency Moldova. “This is why we are pleased all the more to support UNDP’s initiative and thereby help fight this fatal safety hazard.”

The social spot will be promoted on TV and radio stations, social media, in trade centers and via public transportation means. Billboards will be installed to raise public awareness about fire prevention measures.

As part of this campaign, firefighters and rescuers assessed the operation of over 7,000 smoke detectors which were previously installed in the households of vulnerable people,  990 of them were donated by Austrian Development Cooperation and UNDP. The warning devices were installed one year ago in the houses of older people and families with many children as well as of individuals taking care of persons with disabilities. The participating rescuers trained the citizens with regard to the importance of observing anti-fire rules and to, therefore, prevent fire-induced tragedies.

According to data of the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, 1580 fires occurred in the period between January until November 2020 in which 84 persons lost their lives.

Since the launch of the campaign, according to GIES data, the installed detectors already saved four families from fires in Hârtopul Mare and Zăicana localities in Criuleni district as well as in Zberoaia and Grozești in Nisporeni district. The sensor installed in their dwellings immediately detected smoke released from deficient heating systems and put on the warning sound system.

Contact Person: Natalia Costaș, Consultant in Communication and Media Relations, tel.: 0 69 22 11 41; e-mail: natalia.costas@undp.org

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