Safety in Design Seminar

Experts call for a single fire standard for the UAE.

A single national standard legislation for fire safety should cover the buildings in the UAE according to experts at the recent Safety in Design Seminar held by APID in Dubai.

The event, which was the first of its kind in the Emirate, saw a range of experts from the Civil Defense and interior design industry discuss the merits of working together to create safer buildings. According to the Civil Defense, any international fire standard can be adhered to during the interior fit out of a building, something that should be replaced by a single UAE standard according to APID president Kenneth Laidler. "When codes from different countries come into conflict with one another, it is difficult to know which one to choose. It would be more practical to have a single UAE code so that there is no confusion," he said.

The flexibility of using any standard also gave rise to concern among many of those who attended the seminar. "If you can choose any standard then it is clear that many people will go for the standard that is cheaper and easier to follow," said Isabel Pintado, interior designer, Godwin Austen Johnson.

There was also call for the Civil Defense to be more involved at the planning and hand over stage of interior design. "It's time for the Dubai Municipality and Civil Defense to check plans and drawings for safety and give approval for the interior design of buildings," said Laidler before adding: "There is also a need for post installation checks as things can change during the fit out.

Textiles manufacturer Trevira was also on hand to give a presentation on the contribution of fabrics to the spread of fire and the limitations of using fire retardant chemicals.

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