UAE Fire Safety in 2017: 12 accidents in first 3 months alone
Dramatic fires have hit skyscrapers in Dubai and other fast-growing cities in the United Arab Emirates in recent years. Building and safety experts have cited a popular type of cladding covering the buildings that can be highly flammable. AMEinfo looks at incidents and developments related to fire safety in 2017 so far.
April 2, 2017: A fire broke out on Sunday morning at the site of a tower being built near Dubai Mall. Emergency crews were sent to the Address Residences Fountain Views tower just after dawn and the blaze had been brought under control by 7.30am. Three people were rescued from the site and an investigation into the cause is under way.
March 15, 2017: Emergency services were called in to deal with a fire in Business Central Towers in Dubai at approximately 1.45pm. No casualties were reported at the office block fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.
March 7, 2017: Owners associations, residents and landlords in Buildings 1 to 9 of the Shoreline development at Palm Jumeirah alleged that developer Nakheel is exhibiting negligence about fire safety precautions. A beach access dispute had resulted in the rear doors of Shoreline Apartment blocks being locked, but residents claimed the doors are an escape route in the event of a fire, in case front entrances are blocked by fire, smoke or debris.
March 6, 2017: Civil defence commanders announced plans to cut the number of fires by 10 per cent. More fire stations and better training for security guards in building safety are two of the new measures designed to cut fire deaths in the UAE by 15 per cent in the next four years. Officials said the average response time has fallen to 7 minutes and that more stations will open to further reduce it.
March 5, 2017: A fire gutted four caravans used as worker accommodations in Kalba, in the eastern region of Sharjah. Sharjah Civil Defence said that no one was injured in the fire that destroyed the caravans, which were owned by a contractor carrying out work in the Kalba heritage village.
February 23, 2017: A man and his wife sustained minor injuries caused by a fire in their Al Nuaimiya flat in Ajman. Crews evacuated the residential building and used a ladder to rescue the husband and wife, then extinguished the blaze, said Col Nasser Al Zari, spokesman for Ajman Civil Defence. The couple were taken to Sheikh Khalifa Hospital for treatment.
February 22, 2017: Residents of Tamweel Tower were allowed to inspect their flats in Jumeriah Lakes Towers for the first time in five years. Several owners revisited flats the authorities had closed for safety reasons after the November 2012 fire.
February 22, 2017: Insurance premiums for older buildings with combustible cladding are set to rise. The aluminium cladding with a flammable core has been blamed for fires including the 2015 New Year’s Eve blaze at The Address Downtown Dubai, and one at Tamweel Towers five years ago. Premiums for buildings that still have it will cost more than newer structures that comply with the recently released UAE Fire and Life safety code.
February 19, 2017: The Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi tweeted at 8.42am that Civil Defence had put out a fire, which broke out at a restaurant on Airport Road, the previous night.
February 12, 2017: The Floating Bridge in Dubai was temporarily closed after a boat caught on fire.Police asked motorists to use alternative routes as Civil Defence firefighting boats extinguished the blaze.
February 5, 2017: The three Stonehenge-linked towers on Reem Island were evacuated on Sunday after a fire broke out in the basement of one of the towers. Abu Dhabi Civil Defence brought the fire under control less than hour after the blaze was reported.
February 5, 2017: A fire broke out in a warehouse used to store curtains in the free zone in Sharjah. Nobody was injured in the fire, according to Col Sami Al Naqbi, director of Sharjah Civil Defence.
February 4, 2017: The third-floor in Sharjah’s Al Buheirah was completely destroyed by a fire, Sharjah Civil Defence said. Families and tenants were evacuated from the 12-storey building as a precaution. Civil defence teams cooled the apartment and handed it over to a police forensics team to determine the cause.
January 30, 2017: A warehouse filled with old car tyres went up in flames in Umm Al Quwain industrial estate.Three African men were injured in the blaze at Umm Al Thobe industrial area, said Col Khamis Ibrahim, head of UAQ operations room.
January 25, 2017: A fire broke out in two warehouses in an industrial area of Ajman. No injuries were reported in the blaze, which took hold in a factory storing food products, Ajman Civil Defence said.
January 23, 2017: Officers at Dubai Civil Defence will be trained by Britain’s Chief Fire Officers Association under a bilateral agreement.
January 22, 2017: A firefighting system including a jetski and a jetpack that will allow civil defence to tackle blazes from water was launched. The system, named Dolphin, was presented by Maj Gen Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, director general of Dubai Civil Defence, as one of the innovative ideas ahead of Intersec conference, a trade fair for security, safety and fire protection.
January 22, 2017: Tough new fire safety regulations came into force nationwide after a series of spectacular blazes in high-rise towers in Dubai. The new code targets the exterior cladding that has been blamed for the spread of many fires, and aims to reduce its flammability.
January 21, 2017: The UAE’s Fire Safety and Life Protection underwent major changes to accommodate evolving economic and urban developments in the UAE, said Major General Jasim Al Marzouqi, Commander General of Civil Defence, Ministry of Interior.
January 17, 2017: Floating firefighting stations that will allow civil defence to tackle blazes from the Dubai Canal were proposed by Lt Col Ali Al Mutawa, head of operations at Dubai Civil Defence.
January 12, 2017: Smoke alarms will be mandatory in homes across the UAE when a federal law comes into force in 2018. Civil Defence authorities across the country are gearing up for awareness campaigns before the law requiring homes to be fitted with smoke detectors comes into force. Officials in Fujairah and Ajman said the new regulation will be enforced on all flats and villas.
January 8, 2017: Fire safety experts and residents have welcomed a ruling that makes smoke alarms compulsory in all homes built in Sharjah from 2018. Sharjah Civil Defence said all new apartments and villas must have smoke detectors throughout to increase protection for tenants.