Who is responsible for fire and life safety during the construction and pre-commissioning phases?

The UAE’s regulatory framework, the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice, outlines industry best practice, detailing what must be adhered to with regards to factors such as means of egress, fire detection and alarm systems, fire protection systems and fire safety guidelines during construction. Chapter 18 defines stakeholder responsibilities, highlighting the need for developers to include fire and life safety as a key component during the initial stages of a building’s life cycle. Providing a building has been designed to prioritise fire and life safety, damage from fire should be minimal in the event one breaks out. However, we face the challenge that some within the industry still see engaging with a fire engineering consultant as an unnecessary expense without fully understanding the long-term cost savings that result from a robust fire and life safety strategy.

During the construction phase of a project, owners, developers and main consultants are bound by the Code of Practice to appoint a fire engineer who is qualified and well versed in the UAE fire and life safety code and international best practice. This ensures the quality of drawing submissions meets all required standards, thorough inspections are carried out and materials used are certified and in-date. The appointment of a qualified fire engineer also provides stakeholders with the reassurance that construction is following the original design intent and cost-saving measures are not being put in place to remove elements of a building’s infrastructure. The risk of not engaging with a professional fire engineering firm during the design and construction phase is unexpected changes to the design and construction further down the line, which often result in time delays and the requirement for additional unbudgeted expenses to rectify design errors.

During the pre-commissioning and inspection phase, it is the responsibility of the consultant appointed to ensure that the performance testing of the fire life safety systems fully complies with the design intent and relevant local and industry codes, and that the building is fully prepared for Civil Defense final inspection. Engaging with a qualified fire engineer gives reassurance that any areas of concern will be easily identified and rectified to ensure a successful final inspection. A pre-commissioning checklist can be provided by the fire engineer to guide contractors and MEP providers when preparing for contract sign off and Civil Defense inspections.

Whether we are engaged at the concept stage of a project or midway through, we always deliver unbiased, up-to-date advice to secure fire safety and preservation of life and ensure projects adhere to the relevant codes. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact: info@tenablefec.com

× WhatsApp Us