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Sat 25 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Don't get your fingers burnt

When fires and resulting tragedies occurred during the construction of the Fortune Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers and the Khalid Al Attar Tower 2 on Sheikh Zayed Road, fire safety in the region took precedence.

When fires and resulting tragedies occurred during the construction of the Fortune Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers and the Khalid Al Attar Tower 2 on Sheikh Zayed Road, fire safety in the region took precedence.

At this year's Big 5 show, Liquid Plastics, in conjunction with the UK Institute of Fire Safety Managers, will be hosting the ‘Don't Get Your Fingers Burnt' seminar for construction industry professionals to learn more about fire risks.

The event will demonstrate to architects, contractors, and specifiers that there are alternative options to high-risk roof waterproofing methods such as hot bitumen and torch-applied felts.

All buildings in the UAE must adhere to the Fire Protection Federal Law for 1991, with other international standards - such as those from the National Fire Protection Association - also being recognised.

In order to conform, fire safety and protection measures should be looked at in the design stage, where it is the responsibility of architects and developers to consider what safety measures to put in place and which fire resistant building materials to use.

In addition, it is important to give thought to the application methods of the chosen building materials, including the roof waterproofing systems. The focus of the seminar is to highlight the importance of including fire safe processes at the very early stages of design, and ensuring that only certified products are used during the construction process.

John Williamson, chairman of the UK's Institute of Fire Safety Managers, will be a keynote speaker at the event.

"Many professionals who work at the specification stage are not fully aware that traditional methods of applying roofing systems often require temperatures in excess of 500°C to 800°C using gas torches, and hot air or hot gas guns," said Williamson.

"These methods have been used for many years, resulting in countless roof fires, and occasionally causing severe damage and even the loss of entire buildings."

Liquid Plastics, manufacturer of seamless protection systems, introduced its answer to flame-free, heat-free roof waterproofing in the UK several decades ago.

Since that time its product - Decothane - has evolved into a top of the range waterproof roof membrane seen today on buildings such as Sharjah Airport, Ethiopia's palace at Bahir Dar, and currently in use on the roof of one of the world's largest prestigious car showrooms in Abu Dhabi.

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