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Fire control system must in buildings

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Civil Defence Department

September 14, 2012, Dubai - Building completion certificates will not be issued for buildings other than traditional houses and villas unless the latest automatic fire control system is installed in them, Major General Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Civil Defence Department, has said.

“All new buildings have installed the new system. The department will not tolerate any attempt to circumvent the requirement, as it concerns human lives,” he reiterated. “No company will get the certificate without ensuring the suitability and efficient functioning of the new fire control system.”

If the system breaks down or develops a glitch, it will automatically send a signal to the Operations Room of the Civil Defence and the defect will be repaired immediately. Civil Defence inspectors will make surprise visits to establishments and buildings throughout the year to ensure they are in compliance with the rule, he added.

The system had been installed in 32,171 buildings in Dubai till July this year.

It intervenes electronically and quickly in case of a fire breakout, a short circuit or gas or smoke emission depending on the type of accident. He said the importance of the system underlies in the quick intervention and alert sent to the Operations Room and the person in charge of the building.

“The system sends a signal to the Central Operations Room showing the type of incident. For instance, the light that flashes in case of the eruption of a fire will be different from the one blinking when there is an emission of gases.”

Once the Civil Defence gets the alarm signal, fire brigades move to the scene to ascertain the matter and bring the situation under control, Maj-Gen Al Matrooshi said.

Direct Alarm System operations

He cited the recent fire in a restaurant in The Dubai Mall, destroying part of the facility. The automatic fire control system sprinkled water immediately. The quick intervention of the system had contributed effectively to preventing the blaze from spreading until the arrival of the Civil Defence squads.

“The Civil Defence in Dubai has finished compiling a study of the system’s effectiveness with a view of encouraging its use countrywide.”

The new system would not entirely wipe out the need for Civil Defence teams to reach the scene, as the human elements cannot be dispensed with in extinguishing fires. “The issue is about containing the damage faster, preventing the fire from spreading until the arrival of the support forces.”

The presence of such equipment is necessary to detect accidents, especially those that take place at night, after the work hours or when no persons are available, he said. He said some fires had been contained in the past without even the knowledge of the owner of the shop or the facility.

As many as 27,933 buildings have already been connected to the Central Operations Room of the Civil Defence electronically. A survey has identified 44,590 buildings in the emirate for installing the direct electronic alarm and automatic fire control system in the initial phase.

Khaleej Times

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