Launched by Dubai Civil Defence at the 2017 iteration of the Intersec Fire Safety Conference in Dubai, the updated UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice was arguably the code’s biggest overhaul since its original iteration in 2006.
Covering in detail a whole range of material, systems, and testing procedures, the code has demanded firms – across the supply chain – reassess their approach to building projects across the UAE.
Pearl Covestro, a joint venture between Germany-based polymers giant Covestro and Pearl insulation materials, knows this all too well.
The Dubai-based firm produces a suite of polyurethane (PU)-based insulation and foam systems that meet the UAE’s updated and stringent fire safety standards.
There remains, however, a “lack of education about fire safety and firefighting”, according to Wissam Khaddaj, head of marketing at Pearl Covestro.
“The market should understand which material is correct to use and what works best,” he says. “We are trying to educate our clients. Our customers can then educate their clients about the fire safety codes that they have to imply and so on.”
Further education, Khaddaj adds, is about fully understanding the cladding system that was used in the Grenfell Tower in London.
The main reason behind this tragedy was due to misuse of non-flame retardant material, which was the culprit for this fire in 2017.
“PIR is not to be used in high-rise buildings above 21 metres [in the UAE] because of the limited height of firefighting ladders. We are trying to educate our customers and clients about the correct type of material to be used,”Khaddaj says.
“At a fire and safety forum organised by Dubai Civil Defence we showcased and explained our newest PIR technologies which are meeting the highest fire standards of DCD and, on top, give the best insulating properties among all other materials used in this industry, says Dr Florian Hupka, head of technology and development at Pearl Covestro.
“These sandwich panels for pre-engineered buildings are therefore strongly supporting the challenging sustainability goals that have been set in the UAE.”
Khaddaj concludes: “Overall, the Fire and Safety Forum was a great opportunity to connect with many stakeholders in the industry; to develop a common understanding and to further explain sustainable and safe solutions using PIR-based insulation materials. Safety stays at our highest concern as a key player in this industry.”