UAE | General

New fire safety norms for Sharjah buildings

Panel comprising municipality and planning section officials to ensure all buildings are secure

  • By Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:18 November 6, 2012
  • Gulf News

Sharjah: Sharjah Civil Defence Department on Tuesday announced they are joining forces, in a committee, with Sharjah Municipality and Sharjah Planning Department to ensure buildings across the emirate are fire safe.

A survey will be carried out of existing residential towers to assess materials used while new buildings set for construction will have to meet new procedures on the chosen materials.

It was also announced that in Sharjah, the use of glass façades will be limited for new buildings that are constructed.

Experts warned, at a Civil Defence press conference in Sharjah Tuesday, that a glass facade can be a fire hazard, helping in the spread of fire and causing more harm than in conventional buildings due to a lack of adequate ventilation.

Brigadier Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence Department, said: “The new criteria will be applied to new buildings. The committee will study existing buildings to make an assessment on how best to provide them with fire-safe materials and safety in general.”

Civil Defence have studied recent cases where fires have gutted residential towers and caused fatalities.

Yesterday, officials from Sharjah Civil Defence, representatives from Specified Technologies, Inc (STI) and International FireStop Council (IFC) gathered to discuss recommended materials to be used in buildings to enhance their safety.

The two companies are considered industry leaders in developing firestop products that help stop the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic fumes.

The importance of ensuring efffective firestopping was highlighted,

Firestopping was described as the use of materials which prevent the spread of flames or hot gases through penetrations in fire-rated walls, ceilings or floors.

Often holes were made for items such as pipes, ducts, conduits or cables - firestop products such as silicone sheets or cement mixtures aim to seal such gaps, creating fireproof surfaces.

A representatives from IFC said: “Building fires can turn even the smallest crack around a plumbing drain or the gap between slab and wall into a conduit for flames or deadly gases. Any in-service penetration of a fire-resistive wall or floor assembly compromises its ability to function as a passive fire barrier.

“In recent years, the greater awareness of the importance of firestopping and its life-safety value has been reflected in more detailed state, country, local and regional model buildings codes and in the availability of new firestop products.”

Brigadier Al Suwaidi has also invited designers, architects, engineers and other construction professionals to submit proposals on how to reduce tower fires - which he said have increased recently in Sharjah.

He added: “Throughout the country, federal, state and local government units have adopted various rules which specify minimum requirements as applied to building construction.

“Some adopt a uniform statewide building code, while others delegate code adoption to counties and municipalities within the state.

“Building professionals should remember to consult the local or model building codes applicable to the area of the project, to investigate, and to use common safety sense in assessing the building codes, local customs, and industry standards prior to undertaking any project.” 

Comments (3)

  1. Added 14:39 November 7, 2012

    outside emergency exit is important for those existing tall buildings. that can at least reduce human casualities.

    rohit, sharjah, India

  2. Added 13:53 November 7, 2012

    As a start the authorities should check all corridors and fire exits of all buildings to ensure that they are free of any blockages, as too many times i have observed that personal items are being dumped in the fire exit staircase.

    Alexander, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:45 November 7, 2012

    People are a big problem when safety is concerned, their ignorance and bad behaviour. We were living in Al Khan area in Sharjah (Bait al Karam building) and one family in the next building was many times making food on their window, they would open the kitchen window and place a small gas burner outside and fry the food. I was afraid if that falls down our building and theirs would be set on fire. Once I even asked them why are they doing that, but no response, they just continued.

    nn, doha, Qatar

Gulf News
Latest news
Community Reports

More from Community Reports

Quick Links

  1. Business

  2. Sport

  3. The latest Entertainment news

  4. The latest Lifestyle stories

  5. Opinion

Gulf Country Finder

  1. The latest news from the UAE

  2. Saudi Arabia

  3. Qatar

  4. Bahrain

  5. Oman

  6. Kuwait

  7. Yemen

Region Country Finder

  1. Syria

  2. Palestinian territories

  3. Jordan

  4. Lebanon

  5. Iran

  6. Iraq

  7. Egypt

Influencers

  1. United States of America

  2. India

  3. Pakistan

  4. United Kingdom

Regions

  1. Gulf

  2. Region

  3. The latest news from around the world