Attributed to Ashish Chaturvedy – Marketing Manager – Ducab The Burning Issue: Fire Safety Measures Gain Importance In recent memory, the Middle East ...
Attributed to Ashish Chaturvedy – Marketing Manager – Ducab
The Burning Issue: Fire Safety Measures Gain Importance
In recent memory, the Middle East has unfortunately witnessed a series of fire incidents in a range of settings.As the number of high-rise towers and urban developments grow, complacence or ignorance is no longer an option. While there has been an appreciable check on the casualties due to the swift response from Civil Defence authorities, property loss and the wreckage of buildings remains a serious and significant cause of concern across the region.
There are twokey issues facing the cabling industry today. First is the lack of awareness of the dangers of using substandard, untested, and fake cables. The second comes down to the testing and compliance of premium products to evolving industry standards.
The use of substandard wires is one of the largest causes of fire in buildings the world over. In countries like the UAE, safety codes specify procedures for the installation of materials and contains detailed guidelines and responsibilities for consultants, contractors and manufacturers.The new fire safety code launched in 2017 also seeks to link vital building to a smart fire safety system of the Civil Defence. Installation of the correct cables is the responsibility of the professional electrical contractor who must be fully aware of the types of approved cables that meet building requirements.
To help close this awareness gap, Ducabworkedin association with Dubai Civil Defence on an educational awareness initiative titled PowerOverFireto educateprofessionals and organisations on the importance of using standards-compliant electrical wiring. The campaign message was ultimately that electrical products and accessories need to be chosen for quality, reliability and endurance to international standards, and that basing decisions on price alone is rarely the best option.
PowerOverFire was run as a mobile roadshow in a custom 40-foot shipping container with fire performance cables displayed and training unitsthat travel the countryto distribute information to the general public,traders and retailers in the electrical product supply chain. The truck was essentially an activity centre which featuredinteractive touch-screen kiosks and a classroom for seminars to raise fire safety awareness. In one year, a staggering 93% of visitors to our last roadshowsaid that they would immediately check their homes or offices using the Civil Defense checklists to ensure optimal fire safety.
While spreading awareness is one step towards fire safety, the quality of products must also be ensured through aggressive testing.
In addition to global third-party testing, at Ducab, rigorous fire tests are conducted at our newly built fire testing laboratory located in the UAE. For theDucab FlamBICC series of Fire Performance cables,testsare carried out for a period of up to three hours at temperatures of 950 degrees Celsius and involve assessment of resistance to fire, water, and mechanical shock as would be experienced in a real life situation. As a result, Ducab’s FlamBICC series is a certified range of low-smoke and halogen-free cables, having been proven to perform andoperate during time frame fire conditions.The Ducab FlamBICC range is third-party certified by The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB)UK, and BASEC which ensures that the range meetsinternational fire and safety standards.
As a UAE corporate citizen, we consider it to be our responsibility to educate our customers as well as the wider public on the importance of safety in our field.Today there is a high level of awareness of the importance of fire-safety standards in buildings, and now there are even greater attempts being made to ensure that the highest standards are understood and met.Prior to the updated UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice, the responsibility for building fire safety was largely with owners and tenants. However, today there is a growing awareness and incentive for fire protection amongst developers and contractors who need to rethink their approach.
We are also pleased to see an increased focus on the certification of products installed to supply power to equipment used in fire-fighting, elevators, sprinkler pumps and in large complex buildings, where the fire response strategy involves evacuation of occupants in a phased manner. These cables generate very low smoke and are halogens free, thus helping to save human life and protect sensitive equipment.Such work has been supported in the community this year as people are coming together more frequently to share knowledge and discuss policy within the industry.
Moving forward, we know that the region’s city centerswill continue to growwith an increasing number of high-rise towers dotting the skyline. Building safety is an increasingly important item on the agenda of today’s urban planners. Moreover, the technology and expertise is there to significantly reduce the likelihood of future building fires. Fire accidents in the UAE alone have already recorded a 41% drop during the first half of 2017 compared to targets set as part of the General Command of the Civil Defense’s (GCCD) 2017-2021 strategy.
Moving forward, we must continue to emphasize fire safety and ensure adherence to standards and requirements at all levels of the construction industry.