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‘Large-loss fire typically does not occur owing to a single point of failure’

The tragedy results from several points of failure, says UAE fire safety expert

| | May 9, 2016 | 11:46 am
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Shamim Rashid-Sumar

Shamim Rashid-Sumar, President of the UAE International Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and the Director of Business Development for the Middle East & Project Manager, Jensen Hughes

Dubai, UAE: A large fire challenges every single system in the building – not only the active and passive fire life safety systems but also the building services – be they HVAC or other mechanical and electrical systems, said Shamim Rashid-Sumar, the President of the UAE International Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and the Director of Business Development for the Middle East & Project Manager, Jensen Hughes.

Rashid-Sumar was speaking at the 1st Annual Middle East HVAC Fire Safety Conference on May 9 in Dubai. The conference, produced by CPI Industry, the publishers of Climate Control Middle East, was a gathering of various fire safety stakeholders from government, developer, consultant, contractor and manufacturer communities.

Rashid-Sumar said the responsibility was with every stakeholder to ensure a building was safe for habitation. “In the face of a fire, we need to ensure that all of our building systems and services are installed correctly and maintained to perform in a high-risk situation,” she said.

Rashid-Sumar, who is also a member of the UAE Code Committee and an NFPA 101 International Instructor, highlighted how the present time was a critical one in the industry, referring to the imminent revision of the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice. “The codes and standards are not the issue here, though” she said. “Neither is the leveraging of new technologies in terms of building products and fire protection equipment. What we need to ask here is whether what we are installing is going to withstand the test of time or not. Is what we are installing fit for purpose and going to be maintained for the lifetime of our buildings? Are we all doing our part?” By way of broadly answering the questions, she said that fire safety consultants, manufacturers, installers and building occupants needed to demand that a higher standard be provided in the UAE and the Middle East built-environment.


(The writer is the Editor of Climate Control Middle East and the Editorial Director & Associate Publisher of CPI Industry.)


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