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New Fire and Safety Code for the United Arab Emirates


The Middle East has seen an amazing level of development over the past decade with projects designed by internationally renowned architects and developers. The combination of project pace and diversity of talent from numerous countries have resulted in the implementation of many new design approaches and the application of a multitude of building codes and standards. The Authority-Having-Jurisdiction (AHJ) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), represented by the Ministry of Interior, Department of Civil Defense, has accepted the application of international codes and standards such as the International Building Code (IBC), British Standards (BS), Singapore Building Code and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to provide sound guidance where previous Middle East fire and safety codes did not address large or technically complicated construction. However, building designers were often challenged when applying international codes and standards in combination with local fire and safety requirements dictated by Civil Defense that often exceeded base building code provisions. These local requirements were mainly driven by lessons learned from past fire incidents in the UAE.

Civil Defense realized the necessity of publishing a well-documented guideline for fire safety requirements in the UAE to clarify the application of local requirements in the design process. The resultant document is the new UAE Fire and Life Safety Code, published by the Ministry of Interior. This code is an outcome of technical review by Civil Defense Engineers and Fire Marshals in combination with discussions and technical peer review by international and local fire consultants and safety experts. Civil Defense also invited publishers of the international standards, such as NFPA, BS, and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) to comment on the code prior being published. Civil Defense declared the code effective in all the seven UAE emirates in July 2011 with a grace period of 3 months for ongoing projects. Afterwards, the code requirements will become mandatory for granting approvals on any new projects submitted to Civil Defense.

The new UAE Fire and Safety Code draws from widely accepted sections of international codes and standards as its basis with an overlay of local requirements. The new code features well-defined requirements for fire service access ranging from road design consideration and distribution of external hydrants to accessibility for firefighters. The code indicates height and area limitations similar to the NFPA 5000 - Building Construction and Safety Code, but restricts the minimum construction type to Type II-000 noncombustible or limited combustible construction. Means of egress requirements in the code originate from NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code, with more stringent requirements such as specifying a minimum stair width of 1200 mm vs. 1120 mm permitted by NFPA 101 for buildings having less than 2000 occupants. The code also prescribes smoke-proof enclosure requirements which are similar to the International Building Code (IBC) but requires a pressurization approach for high-rise buildings. Installation requirements for fire suppression and detection systems are comparable to NFPA installation standards.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used throughout the Middle East as a primary cooking fuel in residential and commercial buildings; therefore the code includes specific requirements for location of storage tanks, piping installation, maximum allowable quantities, ventilation and safety provisions. It also refers to NFPA 54 and NFPA 58 for additional safety requirements. The new code also includes requirements for fire safety practices in construction and maintenance sites by specifying site safety planning and responsibilities of all parties. It dictates construction separation requirements, ventilation parameters, and type of fire suppression and detection systems for many types of buildings and other unique requirements due to the local environment, construction methods and operations.

The new code establishes guidelines for drawing submission to Civil Defense. It includes submission checklists and standardized drawing legends for consultants and contractors to follow. In addition, it outlines the requirement of developing fire risk assessment in order to familiarize Civil Defense with possible fire scenarios.

Civil Defense predicts that it will allow some waivers from the new code requirements for certain projects due to special occupancy features that may exceed the code guidelines. Civil Defense has established a hierarchy for using additional codes and standards to complement the new Fire and Safety Code to provide the most relevant and stringent requirements. This would include such occupancies as semi-conductor fabrication or other special hazards that are not specifically addressed in the new code.

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cheryl
Hello. Where can I purchase a hard copy of this? Thank you.
 
12/11/2013 4:05:11 AM
 


BINU PAUL
Please advice me where i can get a copy of this book
 
6/4/2013 3:03:17 PM
 


muserrat abbas
i want this book
 
12/16/2012 5:48:55 AM
 


Yogesh Harnal
Where can I get the downloadable version of the code If not downloadable then where to buy the hard copy?
 
11/20/2012 7:12:17 AM
 


bellabeth cortez
where to get or purchase life safety code book in Abu Dhabi UAE
 
11/19/2012 4:22:24 AM
 


Arnold Siason
Im the Fire & Life Safety Manager here in shangr-la and Traders Hotel. I would like to ask were can I get the UAE fire Code. thank
 
10/6/2012 11:56:30 PM
 


Van Ellsworth
How can a buy a copy of the "New Fire and Safety Code for the United Arab Emirates?"
 
4/30/2012 9:30:15 AM
 


nidaa
iam dr i have with civil defence drill ineeds senario with fire in campus thanks
 
3/26/2012 6:39:48 AM
 


Walid ismail
i hope that all companies will follow.
 
2/28/2012 5:45:14 AM
 


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The combination of project pace and diversity of design talent from numerous countries has resulted in the implementation of many new design approaches and the application of a multitude of building codes and standards. As a result, the Civil Defense realized the need for a well-documented guideline for fire safety requirements in the UAE to clarify the application of local requirements in the design process.
The new UAE Fire and Life Safety Code, published by the Ministry of Interior, is the outcome of technical review by Civil Defense Engineers and Fire Marshals in combination with discussions and technical peer review by international and local fire consultants and safety experts.
The new UAE Fire and Safety Code draws from widely accepted sections of international codes and standards as it basis with an overlay of local requirements.