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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Fire experts welcome government drive to install state-of-the-art alarm technology.

Scheme will link to a centralised command to speed up response times

The 2016 fire in the Adriatic building on the Palm Jumeirah is thought to have started from a faulty coffee machine in a penthouse apartment. Courtesy Gary Barnett
The 2016 fire in the Adriatic building on the Palm Jumeirah is thought to have started from a faulty coffee machine in a penthouse apartment. Courtesy Gary Barnett

Fire safety experts have welcomed a new government drive aimed at encouraging homeowners to install state-of-the-art alarm technology.

The Ministry of Interior initiative hopes a centralised, wireless alert system will help improve response times for emergency services.

Officials claim the new technology will provide 24-hour cover for UAE families – alerting them to any possible threat of a fire at home.

The system will also automatically connect to the Ministry’s control centre, allowing authorities to dispatch emergency services without delay.

“It is an important first step and it has to be welcomed, but provision also needs to be made for rented accommodation,” said Emma Button, from real estate company The Consultancy Hub.

“If you go to your landlord and ask them to install a fire alarm system they would probably tell you to pay for it yourself.”

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Read more:

Faulty electrics in villa led to tragic deaths of eight Emiratis

Emiratis tell of brave aunt who tried to wake family in blaze that killed eight

Careless tossing of cigarettes among most common cause of fires in Dubai

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The Ministry of Interior said their Hassantuk for Homes scheme was launched in an effort to “make the UAE one of the safest countries in the world by 2021”.

Installation of the system costs Dh1,950 and includes connection of additional heat and smoke detectors throughout each property.

Those who sign up are also required to pay an annual Dh415 monitoring and maintenance fee.

“The people who are going to take this up are homeowners, but rented property is where the vast majority of fires occur,” said Ms Button.

“It is a fantastic idea but it is still not covering the main issue.

“The new scheme will not stop fires if the equipment in a property is faulty, it will only detect them.

“If they are bringing this in they need to bolster the responsibility of landlords.”

There have been a number of high profile villa fires in the UAE recently. In October, faulty electrical wiring caused the death of eight Emiratis in a fire on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. A blaze in Fujairah fire at the start of this year also caused the deaths of seven children.

Updated: December 12, 2018 10:55 AM

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