Dubai Municipality issues barriers ruling
Minimum height of safety handrails to be 90cm
Dubai Municipality has issued a ruling requiring protective handrail barriers to be installed around swimming pools and on balconies in all new buildings.
The directive has been sent out to all building companies, architectural firms and developers and requires the minimum height of the railings to be 90cm.
It comes following a number of accidents in recent years in which children and adults have died after falling from balconies.
In January 2012, an Indonesian maid fell to her death from a ninth-floor apartment block in Sharjah.
In the same month, in Sharjah, a 28-year-old Russian woman died after falling from the sixth-floor of a building, and a seven-year-old Egyptian girl survived a fall from the third floor of her building.
And in November 2012, a five-year-old boy with special needs died after falling from the second floor of his building in Abu Dhabi.
“Safety of the people is the first priority of the civic body,” said Marwan Al Mohammed, the acting director of the municipality’s buildings department. “We don’t want to hear of any more tragic stories in our city.
“Hence, all consulting and contracting companies should ensure the availability of handrails for balconies and swimming pools in all new buildings with immediate effect, in line with the specifications stipulated by the civic body.”
The directive states that safety railings should be installed in such a way that they cannot be easily tampered with or avoided by children.
“It should not allow kids to climb on or creep though it,” said Mr Al Mohammed.
“It is recommended to put a protecting fence of a minimum 90cm height around the swimming pool, with a lockable door and a warning system as kids touch the door or rail when they are not allowed to use it.
“It is also good to have an alarm whenever the pool is not attended by the rescue staff.”
Although the directive has just been announced, inspectors from the building department have been conducting checks for more than a year.