Dubai to set up fire testing lab for building materials

Municipality facility will work under Dubai Central Laboratory

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Dubai Municipality plans to set up its own laboratory to test building materials and products for fire resistance, a senior government official has said.

Speaking to Gulf News, Khalid Mohammad Sherif Al Awadi, assistant director-general for Health, Safety and Environment Control, said that the civic body was in talks with Dubai Civil Defence to finalise the establishment of the new laboratory.

When operational, the fire-testing lab will work under the Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL) of Dubai Municipality, he added.

The lab will be used by civil defence authorities in the country to test and certify the fire resistance of building materials and fire safety products and systems, added Amin Ahmad Mohammad, director of DCL.

Ali Ahmad Elian, head of Engineering Materials Laboratory Section at DCL, said that the proposed lab’s building has been constructed in the Al Warsan area of Dubai. It is expected to be equipped for operations by the end of 2017.

“It will be the first government facility in the UAE to test and certify building materials and products for fire safety,” Elian told Gulf News.

Authorities in Dubai have been relying on overseas laboratories and two private labs in Dubai for fire testing, pointing out that DCL has “very limited resources to do fire testing”.

Elain added that the lab will facilitate the implementation of the updated fire safety code which is expected to be introduced soon. The new code will stipulate strict and sustainable fire-resistant standards and requirements for building materials. It will be the lab’s responsibility to ensure that they are compliant.

“Fire resistance of cladding, thermal insulation materials, concrete blocks, and other products will be tested at the lab. Based on the results, civil defence will approve and certify them. In the later stages, fire protection systems like fire alarms and sprinklers will also be tested.

“Tests will be conducted to see how long the building materials can stand fires. The process will include various equipment, furnaces, and walls to simulate fire accidents and that is why the lab has been located away from the city,” he explained.

Government officials have also said that materials will also be tested for their sustainability and compliance with green building standards set by Dubai Municipality.


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