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Mon 18 Jan 2016 01:39 PM

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Address hotel fire sprinklers 'ran out after 15 minutes' on NYE

Dubai Civil Defense official says extent of fire at The Address Downtown Dubai put undue pressure on systems

Address hotel fire sprinklers 'ran out after 15 minutes' on NYE
Inside the Address Hotel lobby in Downtown Dubai after the fire had been extinguished. (Photo courtesy of Dubai Media Office)

The emergency sprinkler systems at The Address Downtown Dubai hotel ran out of water 15 minutes after the fire broke out on New Year’s Eve, it has been claimed.

An official from Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) has revealed the huge fire put undue pressure on the fire safety systems and meant the water supply ran out within 15 minutes, according to the National.

There was also no water for the firemen’s hoses, it was said.

Matt Bright, a risk analyst at the DCD’s operations and fire investigation team, was quoted as saying: “The sprinkler systems worked as they were designed to do but this was an extraordinary fire.

“The water in that system drained quite quickly because of how many sprinklers were operating.”

The National also reported this month that tests on the exterior wall panels used on The Address, conducted at a research institute in Texas in 2007, were worthless because they tested fire “containment” not “flammability”.

Fifteen people sustained minor injuries in the fire, while a firefighter suffered a heart attack.

Dubai authorities are working to address gaps in fire safety regulations by updating the 2012 fire safety code and conducting a review of all buildings in the emirate to ascertain what fire safety risk each poses.

The Intersec security, safety and fire protection conference is taking place in Dubai this week. At the event, fire safety experts told the National specific new requirements could be included in the revised code, such as for extended sprinkler lines and fire barriers, for older buildings with non-fireproof cladding that would be too costly for owners to replace.

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