Minister backs Middle East’s first test furnace

Published October 21st, 2009 - 02:23 GMT

The Middle East’s first furnace for testing and certifying fire rated doors and partitions used in the construction of all commercial, public, office and multi-family buildings has received its accreditation from the national accreditation body for the United Arab Emirates, the Emirates National Accreditation Service.

The accreditation certificate was presented in person yesterday (Tuesday 20 October 2009) by HE Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water and Chairman of the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA), to Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants of Dubai, to highlight the availability of proper fire testing facilities for the region’s construction industry.

The UAE government is committed to builders complying with international standards. The Minister said: "Accreditation of this laboratory provides confidence in the market and further enhances the infrastructure of quality for assuring safety and conformity of products and services."

Engineer Mohammed Saleh Badri, Acting Director General of ESMA, added that the new facilities are critically important tools in ensuring buildings are properly constructed.  He added: "ESMA approaches and coordinates with strategic partners and regulatory bodies to assure the existence of accredited facilities so that materials and systems can be confidently verified and approved."

Tom Bell-Wright, founder and CEO of Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants, said: “There have been many major fires over the last few years and hopefully the presence of this testing furnace will now make it easier for builders to comply with the regulations and help make our buildings safer to live and work.”

Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants has been providing testing for curtain walls — glass and aluminium systems which form the outside walls of high rise buildings — and similar constructions at their laboratory in Ras Al Khor for the last ten years. Two years ago, the company realised that local fire testing was badly needed. 

The fire testing furnace is now fully operational with accreditation under ISO 17025 from the UK Accreditation Service and now the Emirates National Accreditation Service, a part of ESMA.

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