Abu Dhabi issues more than 21,000 fire safety warnings in five months

Non-compliant building owners can face fines of up to Dh50,000 or closure

Abu Dhabi authorities have issued thousands of fire safety warnings this year. Photo: Security Media
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More than 21,000 warnings have been issued for buildings in Abu Dhabi that have failed to adhere to fire safety regulations.

Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority inspected 10,753 residential and commercial buildings and centres across the emirate between May and October this year.

These included 6,994 entities in Abu Dhabi city, 3,494 in Al Ain and 265 in Al Dhafra.

Inspections led to the issuing of 21,271 warnings for buildings that were found non-compliant with fire safety requirements.

It's pivotal to assess and enhance the safety and fire prevention standards in the emirate
Brig Gen Salem Al Dhaheri, acting director general of Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority

Abu Dhabi accounted for 16,053 notices, while buildings in the Al Ain region and Al Dhafra were issued 4,212 and 1,006 notices respectively.

A grace period – the duration of which was not disclosed – has also been given to property owners to rectify non-compliance issues.

The Civil Defence said it will monitor the properties during this time.

The move aims to enhance fire safety standards across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Brig Gen Salem Al Dhaheri, acting director general of Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority, lauded the initiative.

"It's pivotal to assess and enhance the safety and fire prevention standards in the emirate," he said, adding that intensified efforts made by the authority and its strategic partners have made the initiative a success.

The scheme began with inspections of residential buildings, businesses, and industrial zones, focusing on essential safety measures.

Buildings are required to install fire detectors and fire alarm systems, while maintaining service contracts with Civil Defence-approved companies, among other requirements, he said.

Field inspections also revealed that owners and investors are actively rectifying previous violations.

In an interview with Al Fujairah Radio in May, Lt Col Amir Al Otaibi, deputy chief of the inspection scheme, said the initiative was designed to examine and highlight potential hazards in buildings.

Building owners that do not adhere to fire safety regulations will face fines of up to Dh50,000, he said.

For severe non-compliance, buildings will be temporarily closed until all issues are rectified.

Civil defence teams responded to more than 3,000 incidents in 2022, according to Ministry of Interior figures.

There were 2,169 building fires, a three per cent increase from 2,090 in 2021, and a 10 per cent increase from 1,968 in 2020.

The majority of fires took place in residential areas, with villas and apartments accounting for 1,385 of the incidents.

A further 256 fires occurred in commercial buildings, 153 on farms, and 122 at public service facilities.

The figures did not include information on deaths or injuries.

Emergency services responded to about 860 fires last year in Abu Dhabi.

Updated: November 10, 2023, 12:30 PM