From early 2010, buildings in Abu Dhabi will be safer and better protected against fire as all new construction and additions to existing structures will be required to comply with Abu Dhabi’s new International Fire Code. The Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) is implementing stringent processes and procedures to enforce the new codes across the emirate’s construction industry.
“Ensuring safety for the community of Abu Dhabi is at the heart of everything we do,” says H.E. Rashid Al Hajeri, Chairman of Department of Municipal Affairs and Chairman of the Building Codes Higher Council. “The new family of building codes, including the fire code, requires all buildings to follow international standards of fire safety that will better protect the lives and property of our people across the emirate, in turn bringing about greater consistency in safety requirements.”
More than a thousand fire protection system designers, engineers, architects, and code enforcement agency professionals from across Abu Dhabi emirate had attended the Building and Fire Codes Training Sessions. The emirate’s construction industry continues to cooperate with DMA ahead of the implementation of the new codes early next year.
“Our priority is to ensure safety of the people living and working across Abu Dhabi. We are preparing the emirate to minimise fire hazards and related damages. Once the codes are implemented, a new era of safety will begin where buildings will be better equipped to resist fire, thus protecting the lives of its occupants,” says H.E. Ahmed Shareef, Under-Secretary of Department of Municipal Affairs.
Buildings will be required to have safe and clearly indicated fire exits, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and alarms that will alert occupants of any emergency situations. Safety during the construction phase is also addressed as part of the new fire code to ensure the workers and property under construction are well protected.
“We will work continually with the International Code Council to ensure that the adopted Abu Dhabi Building Codes will represent current, safe and accepted technology that suits the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” adds H.E. Shareef
The new fire code requires ongoing maintenance of installed safety systems in buildings to ensure their continued proper operation and use. Periodic inspections and testing programmes will apply to all the required safety items and processes to reduce the threat of fire and minimise its impact.
Department of Municipal Affairs will continue to inform, engage and educate the public and private sectors through its training workshops that will be held across the emirate to ensure compliance with the new codes.