Address Downtown held fire drill in September 2015

An evacuation drill conducted at The Address Downtown in September 2015 contributed to the successful evacuation of the hotel when it caught fire on New Year's Eve, a senior official has revealed

The Address Downtown Dubai caught fire on 31 December, 2015. [Image: Getty]
The Address Downtown Dubai caught fire on 31 December, 2015. [Image: Getty]

A senior official from Dubai Civil Defence said the last evacuation drill carried out at The Address Downtown was held in September 2015.

Speaking to Construction Week on the sidelines of the Safety and Security Design in Buildings 2016 conference, Matt Bright, a risk analyst and fire investigator at Dubai Civil Defence's operations department, said the hotel's staff and local forces were aware of the facility's logistics due to the drill. 

Bright also revealed that up to 3,000 guests were present in the hotel when it caught fire on on 31 December, 2015. 

"A high number of people obviously impacts [evacuation operations], but that everyone got out without serious injury is testament to the fact that the evacuation plan worked," he said.

"We've done evacuation drills in that building, and the last one was in September 2015. So the staff was prepared, and local forces were prepared [too]. They know the building well," Bright added.

The hotel had also undergone evacuation drills in previous years, Bright noted, reiterating that the absence of any serious injuries during the evacuation was proof the Civil Defence's plans were effective.

Speaking during a session, Bright said that up to 2,000 of the total guests in the hotel that night were visiting restaurants and other hospitality outlets. 

"Investigations are ongoing," he added, responding to a question about the cause of the fire.

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