Association for Specialist Fire Protection

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection CEO Wilf Butcher has commented on the latest tall building fire in the UAE.

The blaze, which struck a residential tower in the Ajman emirate, north of Dubai, on Monday 28 March, is reported to have spread from one building to an adjacent block. It is the third tall building fire in the UAE within a year. Earlier incidents at The Address Downtown at the turn of New Year 2016, the Torch in February 2015 and the Tamweel tower in 2012 involved rapid external fire spread as a result of the use on non-fire rated cladding materials on building facade.

Commenting on CEO Wilf Butcher declared: “The Ajman blaze once again raises questions relating to the design, specification and installation of appropriate materials and systems that are intended to ensure that a building remains fit for purpose in the event of a fire.”

“It further serves to highlight the need to ensure that fire and smoke spread is not only contained within the compartment of origin and that means of escape are protected, but also that it is not allowed to spread between buildings or up the outside of a building either externally or within voids within the façade.

“This fire, coupled with other recent high profile façade fires, such as the Address Downtown fire in Dubai, serve to illustrate the need for much a greater understanding of the fire behaviour of modern designs of buildings and the materials used in them. The increasing frequency of such fires and their nature points to deficiencies in design and specification.”

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