Adhere to UAE Fire and Life Safety Code to reduce risks: AESG

Peter Van Gorp Director of Fire and Life Safety at AESGAESG, specialist engineering and consultancy practice in the Middle East, has urged that existing properties in Dubai implement the updated UAE’s Fire and Life Safety Code

While its implementation rate among new properties has steadily increased, AESG warns that existing properties must do more to follow suit.

At this month’s Fire and Facades Forum in Dubai, director of fire and life safety at AESG, Peter Van Gorp outlined the vital challenges UAE developers face in ensuring fire and life safety.

“We see building owners grappling with the complexities of retroactively implementing the necessary changes to already approved constructions and fire safety systems. And even once this has been addressed, there is the question of ensuring the operability and maintainability of these systems,” he added.

While overcoming these hurdles may seem daunting, he advises that the payoff is significant since adherence to the UAE fire code could ‘reduce the risk of potential loss of life or property damage by a factor of 100’.

The company advocates the involvement of a fire safety specialist to design and execute the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the code for both new and existing developments. In addition, AESG recommends periodic safety inspections by certified third-party fire safety engineers as a requirement to ensure proper maintenance and operation of implemented systems.

“Civil defence authorities in the UAE have done an excellent job of promoting the revised code and making it easily accessible to anyone who wants a copy. The onus is now on developers to engage with competent fire engineers right from the initial design stages,” he stated.

“For all new projects that AESG is involved in, we make sure fire safety systems are made a priority and work closely with architects, façade engineers and other teams as a coordinated effort is vital to success,” he explained.

Belarmino Cordero, head of façade engineering at AESG, considered that the newly defined accountability in the updated UAE Fire and Life Safety Code will benefit the country’s built environment.

“Ensuring code compliance in design and construction is now a shared responsibility between consultants, manufacturers, contractors and owners. The code clearly stipulates what the responsibilities are and puts in place the necessary control procedures,” Cordero concluded.

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