The linking of security equipment to the Civil Defence operations room is mandatory for strategic buildings, hotels and hospitals. Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News

Dubai: More than 25,000 buildings have been linked to the Dubai Civil Defence operations room, which is alerted automatically if any systems in the buildings malfunction, officials said yesterday.

"The automatic alerts are not only about fires, but we are informed about any malfunction in a security system in any of these buildings, no matter how small," said Colonel Hamdan Al Raisi, Deputy Director of Dubai Civil Defence.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday to announce the launch of the 14th edition of Intersec 2012 Exhibition — the Middle East's largest exhibition and conference for security and safety — Col Al Raisi said the state-of-the-art equipment used by the Civil Defence sends immediate alerts if any sprinkler, detector or panel breaks down or is tampered with.

"Even if the water level in the tank drops, we receive notification, and will inform the landlord to top it up or repair any faulty equipment immediately," he said.

The number of buildings whose security systems are managed by the operations room reached 25,562, while 42,488 underwent comprehensive electronic surveying, out of which 29,183 buildings have ready electronic systems awaiting connection to the operations room.

Connection priority

All residential and commercial building owners are obliged by law to have their buildings connected to the operations room, but it is optional for residential villas.

Priority in electronic linking is given to strategic buildings with high populations such as schools, hospitals and hotels as well as factories and other buildings that contain combustible materials.

Other than fire and rescue equipment, Intersec focuses on commercial security, internet security and homeland security.

The exhibition has seen a 15 per cent growth in the number of exhibitors from 2011, with 900 companies taking part in the 14th edition running from January 15 to 17, said Ahmad Pauwels, CEO of Intersec organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt.

"We have noticed a marked increase in interest from security agencies and police in the region in the latest homeland security and policing methods and systems," he said.

In 2011, the UAE spent Dh20.075 billion on homeland security, which is expected to double in the next 10 years.

Saudi Arabia spent $47 billion (Dh171.66 billion) on national security, and this is expected to reach $97 billion over 10 years, Pauwels said.

Global sales for homeland security are expected to reach $2.7 trillion by 2020.