We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 4 Jan 2009 05:32 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Expert warns of construction fire costs

An expert in fire investigation and fire safety has warned that a lack of education among workers could threaten the profits of construction companies.

An expert in fire investigation and fire safety has warned that a lack of education among workers could threaten the profits of construction companies.

John Williamson, managing director of fire consultancy UK Fire Skills and former assistant chief fire officer of Lancashire Fire and Rescue, said that fires could have a significant effects on a business, citing that 80% of UK businesses damaged by fire never fully recover.

"People working in construction don't realise how fire can spread through conduction or convection. They don't know that smoke and some gases are flammable," he said. He also added that radiated heat from a large building far could also cause a serious spread of fire to neighbouring buildings.

He said that regions such as Dubai, which had large amounts of high-rise construction and a generally large number of construction projects requiring on-time delivery, face particular risks.

"With the extra [time] pressure, it's difficult for people to get safety and productivity in the same boat," he added.

Reducing the spread of the fire was also a particular challenge in the GCC, citing traffic as slowing down the response time of a fire appliance and the general difficulty of accessing a construction site by firefighters.

"Staff need to be constantly retrained in fire procedure," advised Williamson, warning that in addition to the initial financial impact of repair, construction fires delayed the overall construction, increased insurance premiums and were damaging to the environment.

Williamson was speaking at a seminar during Big 5 in Dubai, organised by UK construction product manufacturer Liquid Plastics.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.