British Business Group focuses on fire safety in the UAE
British Business Group focuses on fire safety in the UAE
... as Summer hots up
Elizabeth Sellwood, BBG Director, Special Interest Groups
The British Business Group (BBG) is focusing on the importance of fire safety for construction companies in the UAE as rising summer temperatures drive up the fire risk.
The BBG is the official body in Dubai and the Northern Emirates for the provision of British Standards, which sets out internationally-recognised standards for quality, safety and reliability across all industry sectors, including fire safety measures.
Daryl Ward, client manager and a Lead Assessor for the British Standards Institution (BSI), said, "The increase of construction site fires in recent months suggests that companies require more support, information and guidance regarding fire safety. Construction companies involved in the rapid development of Dubai must contend with incredibly high summer temperatures which increases the risk of the outbreak of fire.
"By adopting British Standards, companies demonstrate to their employees, customers and local authorities that they are committed to safety as well as working within Federal and Municipal regulations. Factors which should be identified when reviewing fire safety on site include the prevalence of combustible materials and sources of ignition, the available fire precautions, health and safety training for staff and emergency preparations."
British Standards stipulate a range of fire precautions including providing fire detection equipment and alarms, fire-fighting equipment, exit routes from the site, emergency lighting and signage, fire safety training for staff and appointment of fire wardens. Construction companies should also implement means of limiting the spread of fire and ensuring structural stability.
"Fire safety engineering is a critical component of the planning process in the construction industry", said Daryl Ward. "Throughout the construction phase and during the life of the building, suitable fire safety precautions must be adhered to as part of the due diligence process that is the joint responsibility of the contractor and the building owner or landlord."
The BBG will be discussing the importance of occupational health and safety in the UAE at its next Construction Special Interest Group meeting on July 25 2007. Daryl Ward, who has worked in UK Local Government for nine years, will deliver the key note speech discussing his experience in areas including building control, planning and environmental health.
Elizabeth Sellwood, the BBG’s Director, Special Interest Groups, said: "Throughout the UAE and the Gulf, projects invariably require companies tendering for work to conform to internationally recognised standards. The BSI was the first national standards body in the world and its reputation for integrity and independence means that standards developed by the BSI have worldwide recognition."
There are currently over 20,000 British Standards covering all industry sectors including building and construction, fire safety, occupational health and safety, manufacturing and healthcare. Companies can find out more by visiting the British Business Group website at www.britbiz-uae.com.
- Lindsay Johnston, Total Communications Dubai - also photo
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