By Sarah Townsend
Revised code was expected this month following The Address Downtown fire on New Year's Eve
The UAE’s new fire safety code will be delayed for one month to allow for additional revisions to be made, it has been reported.
Officials from Dubai Civil Defense announced at the beginning of this year that an updated UAE fire code would be published in March and contain new regulations, particularly in light of the high profile fire at The Address Downtown hotel on New Year’s Eve.
However, a senior DCD official has revealed that the new code could take longer to finalise and is set to be published next month instead, according to The National.
Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim, director of the preventive safety department at DCD, said: “In the Address hotel nobody was badly hurt but we don’t know what will happen the next time – to prevent that we need to work together.
“Saving the lives of people is our biggest concern. We are making regulations, updating the code, and if there is a mistake we will correct this.”
The new code is expected to contain lists of approved construction materials – for example, it is thought that flammable panels used to clad building exteriors are to blame for rapid spread of flames – and any suppliers of non-approved materials will for the first time face prosecution under the code.
Owners will be required to renew no-objection certificates (NOCs) from civil defence on an annual basis to ensure structures remain safe. At present they only need to obtain one NOC on initial completion of the building.
A comprehensive list of tests that must be carried out on a regular basis has also reportedly been added.
The National quoted Drew Azzara, Middle East executive director for the National Fire Protection Association, as saying: “It’s important they get it right and they will.
“Revisions to the code will never go away because everything in the standards and code community is constantly evolving.”