UAE to launch tougher fire safety code

MatroushiThe revised UAE Fire and Life Safety code, which includes strict regulations and standards for construction consultants for new buildings, will soon be unveiled, the Dubai Civil Defence announced at the 6th annual Fire Safety Technology Forum UAE held on 27 April

The UAE fire safety code is to set out tough new measures including fines for building consultants who use non-regulation materials in construction. The code is expected to be released in the next few weeks.

The forum took place under the patronage of Lt Gen Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE minister of interior and deputy Prime Minister.

Following recent fire incidents that involved high rise buildings in Dubai, the forum was held under the title ‘Innovation for High Rise Resilience’.

Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, director general at Dubai Civil Defence, noted, “The fines will be strictly adhered to for the prevention of bad installation of fire safety material in buildings.”

Barry Lynham, group strategy director at Knauf Insulation, highlighted some of the issues surrounding recent façade fires drawing experience from Europe and more recent fires in the UAE.

“The construction sector is innovating at an unprecedented rate but building fire safety regulations across the world have not able to keep up the pace,” commented Lynham.

Drawing on experience in Europe, Lynham highlighted the enormous challenge facing European countries as they rollout mass renovation programmes as part of efforts to meet domestic and international energy and climate goals. The challenge is equally great for the UAE he said, not only to ensure the resilience of new, particularly super-high rise, buildings, but also to renovate existing buildings.

“As we change the nature of our buildings it is vital that there are standards in place that reflect the real life performance of facade systems. Unfortunately nowhere in the world are the standards good enough yet. We are hopeful that the UAE will take lead by example with the current review of its regulations” he added.

Keynote speakers also included Ali Hassan Almutawa, director of operations at Dubai Civil Defence; Justin Francis, station officer at Queensland Fire & Rescue; Stephen M Little, battalion chief at Chicago Fire Defence; Mark Yates, chief fire officer at CFOA national Resilience; and Gary P. Morris, fire chief at Pine-Strawberry Fire District.

The Fire Safety Technology Forum provided a unique opportunity for senior members and decision makers in the fire safety industry to network, forge partnerships and to learn more about the latest trends and practices with the UAE Civil Defence.

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