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All buildings in Dubai to install Direct Alarm System for fire and hazard safety

All buildings in Dubai to install Direct Alarm System for fire and hazard safety

New compulsory measures to connect about 60,000 premises to Civil Defence Operations Room which monitors alerts and takes action to save lives

Dubai October 21, 2008: Every government and private building in Dubai will have to install the Direct Alarm System, which will connect the building to an advanced central Civil Defence Operations Room which will monitor the building for fire and elevator alarms, a senior official said on Monday.

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence, on Monday announced the onset of the direct alarm system at all buildings in Dubai.

He said the project is a qualitative leap in Dubai Civil Defence services, as the project provides various abilities to monitor fire prevention systems at all buildings.

The project also monitors the preparedness of alert and firefighting systems around the clock.

"Registering for the system is compulsory on all buildings including office buildings, factories, hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, financial buildings and others.

"Private homes and villas are an exception, as registration is optional for them," Major General Al Matroushi announced during a press conference.

He said the buildings have been classified to five groups based on the possible dangers, nature, sizes and locations.

"Around 60,000 buildings are expected to be connected to the Direct Alarm System in the next four years," he added.

He said the Direct Alarm System monitors all connected buildings in Dubai electronically to ensure safety and fire prevention in all establishments.

The system links the buildings to the command control centre at Dubai Civil Defence via satellite. The system monitors the buildings in real time, 24 hours a day using remote communication technologies such as GSM, GPRS and GPS. The system continually exchanges data and information regarding the building's emergency systems.

Monitoring room

In the event of fire, lift, pump or emergency breakdown, a critical alarm is sent to the command control centre automatically.

A huge screen in the monitoring room, coupled with individual operating work stations, at Dubai Civil Defence displays the building location, the identified problem, details of evacuation plan, and different routes to the building and the nearest fire station.

In addition, Civil Defence also monitors their vehicle location to identify the nearest vehicle.

A temporary command control centre has been established at the Pacific Controls Building until the central operations room building is completed near the Dubai Civil Defence Building by the end of next year.

Fire engines: Message to 'give way'

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence, announced that the department is studying a new technology which will encourage motorists to give way to fire engines trying to reach the accident site quickly.

He said the Civil Defence is studying the use of an advanced software system which can be installed in all civil defence vehicles and stores the frequencies of 21 FM channels.

In the case of a fire, the programme can communicate with motorists via radio stations whether they are switched on or off. The programme sends audio messages, directly talks to them or gives out the civil defence alarm sound.

The voice can travel up to one kilometre in distance and will tell motorists in English and Arabic: "There is a fire engine behind, give way".

"Dubai will be the third city to use this system after cities in Germany and Australia and it will be done in coordination with radio stations," said he Major General.

Gulf News
United Arab Emirates

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