Fire at Dubai Festival City Mall brought under control in under 45 minutes

A fire that broke out at Festival City Mall in Dubai on Monday night was brought under control by the Dubai Civil Defence team in under 45 minutes

The fire began in the Mall’s operations room at 7:28pm. The Civil Defence team reached the site six minutes later at 7:34pm and doused the fire on the façade of the Mall within minutes.

According to the Dubai Civil Defence, all shoppers and visitors were evacuated as the fire was brought under control by 7.42pm with cooling operations continuing until 8.09pm.

All visitors at the Mall were evacuated safely as a precautionary measure. No injuries have been reported from the incident, and the site was later handed over to the competent authorities.


Fire breaks out at Dubai high-rise

A fire broke out on Monday morning (7 November) at a 35-story high-rise building in Dubai near the Burj Khalifa.

Social media videos depict flames engulfing the high-rise, located next to the world’s tallest building. The outer façade of the building is now seen to be covered with black char marks.

The building is a part of a series of towers called 8 Boulevard Walk by Emaar, the state-backed developer in the emirate, according to The National newspaper.

In a statement, Dubai Civil Defense said firefighters were alerted to the blaze at 3:11am, which was part of a series of towers called 8 Boulevard Walk by Emaar. The blaze impacted the tower’s façade, reported the Dubai Civil Defense. It was extinguished in three hours.

In a statement, an Emaar spokesperson said the company was working closely with authorities to determine the cause of the fire. The spokesperson said: “Emaar is also working with residents impacted by the incident to ensure they are being taken care of.”

There has been no information yet on whether anyone was injured in the blaze and Dubai police and civil defense have yet to acknowledge the fire, reported the Associated Press.


UL Solutions launches service for fire alarm control units in UAE

UL Solutions has introduced a new product category covering fire alarm control units and accessories intended to be used in the United Arab Emirates as part of a household fire-warning system.

To balance cultural practices with safety enhancements, UL Solutions, a global safety science leader, developed a new testing program and a new Certification Mark for the UAE.

The program tests residential fire alarm control units that permit residents to briefly disable alarms to burn incense. Products that demonstrate compliance with the testing protocol earn the all-new UL-AE Certification Mark.

By applying solid regional insights and deep industry expertise, UL’s new testing program for fire alarm control units aims to inspire greater confidence among UAE residents, opening the market for safer products and maximising emergency services resources.

In 2018, the UAE Civil Defense launched a campaign to introduce a smart fire detection, alarm and monitoring system to every residential villa in the UAE. The initiative involved designing and installing a fire detection system for early warning of a fire outbreak to inform occupants to evacuate the premises with almost instantaneous alarms.

To improve response times, the alarm systems are connected to a signal monitoring center that receives the signal of a fire outbreak and confers with the owner on the current situation before dispatching the necessary fire response resources.

This alarm feature is designed to reduce the possibility of false alarms to prepare civil defense crews on arrival, especially in villa homes with the highest incidence of fire calls in the UAE.


Emirates Glass partners with SCHOTT to provide fire-resistant glass

Emirates Glass LLC, one of the leading processors of architectural flat glass in the Middle East and wholly owned by Dubai Investments PJSC has signed a deal with the international technology group SCHOTT to provide architects in the Middle East and beyond with high-performance glazing that combines fire-resistance and design freedom in a unique way.

The deal opens possibilities for fire-resistant glazing of facades, partition walls, skylights, rooflights, doors and windows that meet international safety requirements.

Emirates Glass and SCHOTT offer multifunctional, laminated and insulation glass types that are EN (European) and UL (Underwriter Laboratories) certified and deliver barrier times of up to 120 minutes.

The portfolio includes high-performance glass types like PYRAN and PYRANOVA and is suited for facades and roof glazing due to their stability upon exposure to UV-radiation, fluctuations in temperature and direct sunlight. In combination with other functional glass for double glazing constructions, these fire-resistant glasses also fulfil energy efficiency requirements.

Present at the signing ceremony were Abdulaziz Bin Yagub AlSerkal, CEO, Industrial Platform, Dubai Investments, Ahmed Al Shared, Head of Operations, Dubai Investments, Rizwanulla Khan, Executive President, Emirates Glass LLC along with Stefan Hergott, Vice President and responsible for SCHOTT’s Special Flat Glass business.

Rizwanulla Khan, Executive President, Emirates Glass LLC, said: “Modern architects and planners strive to make every building unique by integrating latest designs and products. This new innovative fire-resistant glass from Emirates Glass and SCHOTT paves the way for contemporary designs, maximizing natural light and creating more open and connected interiors.

“This fire-resistant glazing is a step forward in enhancing the creativity, fulfilling requirements of fire protection authorities. Opening the possibility of revolutionary viewing options, these glass series offer a wide range of individual solutions, ensuring maximum flexibility to meet complex demands.”

Stefan Hergott, Vice President at SCHOTT, said: “The Middle East with its high architectural ambitions is a very attractive market. Partnering with Emirates Glass allows us to enhance our presence and address the requirements of regional customers at the same time. We are looking forward to the cooperation.”

The fire-resistant specialty glass supplied by SCHOTT will be processed and distributed by Emirates Glass, with the aim to facilitate high-quality glazing in short lead times.

Different to standard safety glass, although offering some of the same high strength properties, fire-resistant glazing has been rigorously tested to ensure it can withstand the temperatures reached during a fire and offer effective protection for a stated period.


Critical certification for water mist systems with Emirates Safety Laboratory

Vivek Vijay, Certification Specialist with Emirates Safety Laboratory, explains the importance of third-party certification for water mist systems

When we hear about a water mist system, multiple questions arise regarding its reliability, durability, effectiveness parameters on various classes of fires, system maintenance costs, how it can replace other suppression agents – the list goes on.  Some still perceive water mist to be an ineffective or antiquated fire suppression/protection system compared to other suppression agents like foam, clean agents, or dry and wet chemical systems.

In recent years, there has been solid progress in water mist system technologies with various new brands entering the market with their unique designs, better extinguishing abilities, improved reliability, and advanced durability.  It is time to reconsider and explore water mist systems, the benefits these types of systems can provide and explore insights into how these systems support sustainability, and water conservation, and contribute to impacting less on the environment.

NFPA defines water mist systems as fire suppression systems that use ‘very small’ water droplets to extinguish or control fires. These droplets are more efficient and effective in containing fires over standard sprinkler systems due to the increased cooling effects, oxygen displacement capability, and pre-wetting function that the droplet size and distribution provide.

Other benefits of water mist systems over standard sprinkler systems are they require less water and operate via reduced pipeline sizes.  Water mist fire protection systems can be either a single fluid (water) or twin fluid (water & atomising media) system.

A water mist system, sometimes referred to as fog or ultra-fog water mist system, utilises water as a medium, like conventional sprinkler systems, for containing and extinguishing the fire. So why consider a different system that uses the same medium for fighting and suppressing fires?

To answer this, we need to explore various considerations, including the difference between a water mist system and a traditional sprinkler system, whilst seeking to understand the reliability and effectiveness of water mist and, for selection, we need to consider specific hazards and occupancy needs.

It is the revolutionised design of a water mist system where the water droplet size is significantly reduced to an extent where it is discharged in the form of fine mist from a discharge device.  The mist droplet absorbs enough heat for it to convert from liquid state to steam, it expands, and when the water molecules expand as steam, it eliminates oxygen molecules from the burning particulate. 

Also, with respect to the consumption rate of water, a water mist system uses 50 to 90 per cent less water as compared to a traditional sprinkler system. Again, the merit of the water mist system is not only limited to controlling the room temperature and converting droplets to steam, thus suffocating the fire, but also in its ability to reduce water damage as compared to traditional sprinklers. With that, the water mist system proves to be more efficient on electrical fires as well as occupancies with valuable items that require as little water damage as possible.

Setting the standard

Now the question is, how can a water mist system be considered reliable for the protection of specific applications and specifically protected area volumes? If a manufacturer/distributor approaches you with a conformity certificate for their water mist system against NFPA 750 standard, can it be accepted or not?

The answer is no. Why? Because NFPA 750 standard provides a guideline for the minimum requirements for the design, installation, maintenance, and testing of water mist systems. As mentioned in the scope section of the NFPA 750 (2023 edition), ‘This standard does not provide definitive fire performance criteria, nor does it offer specific guidance on how to design a system to control, suppress, or extinguish a fire’.

Then what are the standards available in the market for getting water mist systems tested and certified? Is certification granted for the entire system or for individual components? Is there a unique comprehensive standard for water mist systems?

Third-party certification agency, such as Emirates Safety Laboratory (ESL), can support end users with customised evaluation program for the specific water mist system based on the individual requirements as per the FM 5560 standard.

A third-party conformity assessment body (CAB) will work case by case and provide customers with a tailored assessment program that will be acceptable local authorities. When it comes to fire test protocols, they are common and required for all water mist systems. Certification agents such as ESL will be able to specify the range of components and fire tests that need to be conducted for the proposed system.          

ESL’s certification assessment program is not limited to component evaluation and fire test protocols. It also includes a peer review of the manufacturer’s design, installation, operation, and maintenance manual, ensuring the proposed water mist system is designed for the specific application/hazard.

A detailed technical study about installations should also be carried out and evaluated to determine whether the proposed installation can achieve maximum effectiveness. When it comes to operation and maintenance, the third party should ensure that the proposed system is user-friendly and easy to maintain, and many such technical aspects ensure the proposed system is appropriate and suitable for the specific environment, hazard and applications.

Third-party certifier exists to support manufacturers or their representatives to obtain accreditation for either individual component component assemblies or the entire water mist system itself. For example, ESL will focus on the customer’s targeted market and our evaluation program includes the local regulations/requirements. We will also help to identify whether the individual component needs to be included in the certification program or not.

By holding a third-party certificate of conformity for your water mist system, the product is demonstrably capable of combatting almost all classes of fires. Certified water mist systems can now displace traditional sprinklers for Class A fires, foam concentrates and dry chemicals from Class B fires, clean agents and carbon dioxide from Class C fires and finally, wet chemicals from Class K/ Class L fires.

A new perspective

Over the past decade, various research shows that a water mist system is as effective as a foam system even though it does not create a complete cover of a blanket over the hazard. It can suppress fire by displacing oxygen with the steam production and needs to stay for a period of time to prevent re-ignition. The case is very similar when it comes to an alternative to dry chemical systems and clean agent systems.

Studies showed that due to the droplet size, a water mist system causes very little damage to equipment, reduced respiratory issues, relaxed evacuation of people, easier residue cleaning, etc., and when compared to the clean agent and dry chemical systems, associated costs can be significantly less for water mist system.

The most important component of a water mist system is its high-pressure pump system. Third-party certifiers such as ESL can provide individual certification for high-pressure pumps and their associated accessories. An evaluation program for water mist pump certification will be set out based mainly on the type of pump and its targeted market and the assessment will provide conformity on the product and verifies its performance, durability, reliability and its suitability.                                                 

Another major component of a water mist system is its discharge nozzles which contain two or more orifices designed to produce and deliver an atomized water spray. Nozzles can be designed to operate independently of other nozzles, as a group of nozzles or as a combination of two or more. 

Certification offers assurance that the proposed nozzle is suitable for the specific requirements. This can be achieved by undertaking a peer review and evaluation, executed by undertaking a detailed assessment of the various test results understood from the test reports that were conducted in accordance with the CAB’s test plan. 

The conformity certificate issued by ESL will better position the manufacturer to access more markets and geographies, and at the same time, end users can trust and rely on the proposed system design, assured performance and fire rating criteria.        

Emirates Safety Laboratory can provide a certificate of conformity to the water mist system or its individual component and component assembly through its tailored assessment plan as per the FM 5560 standard and other local regulations enabling more user-friendly and reliable water mist system products to be introduced into the market.

This article was originally published in the September edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.


Growth ahead for UAE Fire Safety and Rescue Tools and products market

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Fire Safety and Rescue Tools and Products market to experience growing demand due to rising number of construction projects and rising preference of technologically advanced tools & equipment according to a report by Ken Research.

The report suggests that the Fire Safety and Rescue Tools & Products market in UAE is expected to grow further in the near future, with increasing adoption of newer technologies and government initiatives aimed to make rescue and firefighting activities more safer and successful.

The introduction for policies such as making Emergency Call (eCall) System mandatory in all vehicles in 2020, will help fast track rescue activities. Construction and Infrastructure projects such as Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, would mean rising demand for establishment of industry specific firefighting units.

The launch of new firefighting systems which make more effective use of water and foam, new products combining thermal imaging and augmented reality (AR) enables firefighters to see through smoke, rising preference for battery operated rescue tools, are some of the recent trends in this market.

The number of constructed buildings in UAE has risen by 7% from 2018 to 2021, and this is expected to grow even further. This has also coincided with the rise in number of fire accidents in UAE within the study period. This would mean a growing requirement for firefighting products as the construction sector grows.

There is also a growing focus of UAE Government towards local manufacturing and digital streamlining of civil services will boost the fire safety product market.

The tender based market, along with rising preference of battery operated tools are said to be some of the growth drivers of the rescue tools and products market in UAE.

Product Family

Mann McGowan expand Middle East distribution network with Emirates Technotrade LLC

Mann McGowan has announced an agreement with Emirates Technotrade LLC to further expand the distribution of Mann McGowan intumescent fire, acoustic and smoke seals to the construction and passive fire protection industries in the United Arab Emirates and throughout the Middle East.

Mann McGowan already has a successful existing distribution and customer network in the region and the agreement further strengthens the company’s ambition to become the leading fire seal manufacturer throughout the Middle East.

The deal also extends Mann McGowan’s partnerships within the Emirates group of companies, with Falcon Acoustics & Passive Fire Solutions Pvt. Ltd distributor of Mann McGowan products in the Indian sub-continent.

Jamie Scott, Managing Director of Mann McGowan, commented: “We are excited to strengthen our position in the Middle East with this agreement with Emirates Technotrade. Their wealth of commercial and technical knowledge perfectly complements the existing distribution network for our high quality, third-party tested and certified seal solutions. This is another important step in Mann McGowan’s global business development strategy.”

Emirates Technotrade and its group of companies has been supplying Passive Fire Protection solutions to the construction industry in both the GCC and Indian sub-continent for more than 15 years and service the Middle East region through their sales office and warehouse in Dubai. Their Managing Director, Varghese Joseph Parackal, said: “Having worked closely with Mann McGowan in India and knowing full well their product testing regime, production capabilities and fast track delivery performance, it was the optimal choice for us to partner with Mann McGowan for the UAE and Middle East markets.”

Mann McGowan design, manufacture and supply a comprehensive range of fire, smoke and acoustic seals to meet industry requirements and customers’ needs and specifications. To ensure the safe compliance on all fire doors and to develop their product range, they work closely with door, glass and hardware manufacturers. Every product is subjected to rigorous quality control and most importantly independent third-party evaluation and testing to various national and international standards.

For further information, please contact Tim Foster on +44 (0)783 3052920 or [email protected]


All UAE University buildings now linked to Hassantuk Safety System

UAEU University has announced that all the buildings on all campuses are now connected to the Hassantuk safety system. The system is integrated with Civil Defense Command Centre in the UAE in line with an agreement with Injazat, the UAE’s leader in digital transformation. 

Hassantuk is a strategic public-private initiative between the UAE Ministry of Interior and Injazat designed to increase the efficiency of emergency services’ responses to all fire and life safety emergency alarms through a state-of-the-art smart system, helping to cut down response times and increase efficiency in all emergency events across the UAE, reducing the danger to life and damage to property. 

For the University, the Hassantuk system will send the alarm in real-time to the Command-and-Control Center, if smoke or fire is detected. The Center will then contact the UAEU Facilities Management (FM) team to check whether it is a real or a false alarm. The FM service provider will verify and repair the false alarm, but in case of a real fire, the Civil Defense team will arrive immediately. 

Prof. Ghaleb Al Hadrami Al Breiki, Acting Vice Chancellor, said: “The United Arab Emirates University adopts the latest technical solutions and standards to enhance occupational security, safety, and health. In addition, it uses the best technologies to protect university facilities and buildings, enhance the response to emergency situations, and reduce or prevent the loss of lives and property.

“The UAEU higher management considers the safe environment of the university community as a top priority.  We seek to link the UAEU facilities to the “Hassantak” safety system, the Ministry of Interior, and “Injazat” initiative to protect lives and property from fires and emergency situations. We are pleased to relate to it to protect lives and property and ensure the safety of the UAEU buildings using the latest innovative technological solutions.

Ayman Alsebeyi, General Manager at Hassantuk, commented: “Hassantuk is one of the world’s first federal fire and life safety services that is designed not only to help save lives and property but also to assist educational institutes to ensure the safety of its buildings and visitors.”

Eng. Mohammed Al Owain, Director of the Facilities Management Department, said the university continuously seeking to keep pace with the latest security services to improve the level of safety and readiness and response to accidents and fires.

He said: “The Facilities Management Department is responsible for the university’s quality of life for students, academic and administrative staff, partners, and visitors. Therefore, it has developed a system that meets all the requirements of international safety standards in general and the standards applicable in Abu Dhabi in particular.”

He also said that it provides a positive and effective environment that contributes to promoting creativity, ensuring the health and safety of students and academic and administrative staff, and improving the conservation and management of natural resources.

Owain added: “Hassantuk will continue to provide round-the-clock protection for connected buildings, creating a safer, smarter community.”

From schools and hospitals, residential and commercial buildings, warehouses, and workshops, Hassantuk monitors connected buildings’ fire alarm systems 24/7 from a central control room, liaising with Civil Defense Operators and emergency services to transmit fire and life safety events with greater detail and speed.

Its advanced AI engines generate regular operational and business intelligence reports for Civil Defense and the Ministry of Interior, while its dedicated online dashboards and real-time messaging enable building owners to constantly monitor their properties, adding an additional layer of information and actionable intelligence.