Marina Mall AUH in 27 minute fire evacuation drill
More than 1,800 people evacuated in 27 minutes from 122,000m2 venue
Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi demonstrated its safety standards with a 27-minute fire evacuation drillcarried out in collaboration with civil defense teams.
The mock evacuation was carried out in co-ordination with the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Abu Dhabi, where, following the activation of the fire alarm system, civil defense teams and ambulance crews rushed to carry out the fire suppression drill. All 1,861 people present at the mall, including staff, tenants and shoppers, were evacuated in 27 minutes.
The drill was carried out without notifying employees, tenants or shoppers, in a bid to test the mall’s ability to efficiently deal with potential emergencies.
Ali Al Shehi, security manager at Marina Mall, said: “We commend the efforts of the civil defense teams that assisted us in developing a well-thought-out plan that was crucial in ensuring the execution of an error-free fire drill that was completed in less than half an hour.
"We also appreciate the cooperation and understanding shown by all the tenants, staff and shoppers at the mall, who adhered to all the safety instructions given by the civil defense personnel. The success of this mock evacuation and fire suppression drill clearly demonstrates Marina Mall’s heightened emergency preparedness and response standards, a crucial factor in guaranteeing the safety and well-being of all mall visitors.”
In an interview with Facilities Management Middle East, Garald Todd, head of fire & life safety, WSP Middle East, said fire safety codes in the region were "solid", but required regular testing and maintenance.
He added: "The design has to be compliant to the intent of the codes, the materials and installation of the various systems and code required arrangements need to be appropriate, approved, and of proper quality, the testing and commissioning of these systems has to be done with an understanding of how all these systems work together to complete a building's fire and life safety strategy, and finally, once all this has been done correctly – maintained. So as you can see, appropriate codes and standards is only one of many steps required to achieve public safety in the built environment."
Al Shehi said the decision to carry out the drill without notifying the security team, employees, shoppers and visitors, is in line with the mall's ongoing efforts to improve the level of training to deal with emergency situations, and to create more awareness among people on the ways to protect themselves from potential dangers.
The mall opened in 2001, and comprises 122,000 square metres of retail space.