Deadline passes for UAE homeowners to install Hassantuk fire safety system

All villas and townhouses must be equipped with the government mandated alarms from January 1, according to a 2020 cabinet decision

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Homeowners who have not installed the UAE's fire safety system, Hassantuk, by January 1 will face an initial warning followed by a fine of Dh1,000.

The deadline was set as part of a cabinet decision in 2020 after a number of fatal house fires in the Emirates.

It was not made clear how soon after the warning the fine is applied, nor how regularly the fine will be given to homeowners who do not comply.

The wireless safety system is designed to connect directly to a command room where emergency workers will be alerted to the case of a fire, verify it, and send a response team.

It is already in operation in public buildings such as schools and hospitals, and from 2024 is required in private residences.

Officials say the onus is on homeowners and landlords to install and subscribe to the safety system, and applies only to villas and town houses as apartment complexes are already equipped with mandatory fire detection systems.

“Homeowners should register in the Hassantuk programme and install fire detectors to protect their homes and people's lives. The deadline is January 1 to comply with the cabinet order,” the ministry told The National.

In September 2020, the government approved the fire safety scheme for all existing and planned homes.

The decision came after a number of incidents, including the death of an eight-month-old baby in a Dubai house fire in July 2019.

The ministry said 43,000 detectors had been installed in villas by September.

The figures do not include Dubai.

Additional fines

The Ministry of Interior will first issue a warning to non-compliant owners, before issuing the fine for not arranging installation of the fire safety system.

Anyone, including tenants, found damaging or disabling the fire alarm system will also be fined Dh1,000, in accordance Cabinet Decree No 85 of 2020.

If the alarm is activated, someone from the Hassantuk command centre will call to verify the fire. The ministry said a Dh200 fine will be issued if all three attempts to call go unanswered, as per the law.

If the landlord has rented out the property, they will need to update the contact information in order for the tenant to receive the call.

Requirements to install Hassantuk

To complete installation of the fire safety system, the property must have a functioning plug socket near the front door.

“Service requires access to power near the entrance of the home,” said the Hassantuk website. “As a homeowner, you are responsible to provide access to the power socket where alarm panel will be installed.”

The official webpage also said that if there is no power supply near the entrance to the home, the owner will have five days from the date of the survey to have one installed.

Preventing disaster

According to Civil Defence General Command of the Ministry of Interior, most fires that occurred in residential areas in the UAE during 2022 were caused by factors including electrical faults, incense burning, cooking, ironing, and smoking.

“[Hassantuk] has successfully prevented over 400 real fire incidents, thus saving lives and protecting properties,” added the ministry.

Etisalat by e &, who are involved in the safety scheme, told The National earlier that there has been an increase by 500 per cent of orders received every month from villa owners to subscribe in Hassantuk as the deadline approaches.

Etisalat by e & also offer a Bukhoor mode, so customers can enjoy incense without triggering alarms.

Emirati Yaqoob Al Hammadi believes in the importance of fire alarms in homes.

Mr Al Hammadi is yet to install a fire alarm in his Sharjah residence, but acknowledges its critical role in safeguarding lives during emergencies.

“My mother's house in Ras Al Khaimah is equipped with one, taking advantage of the country's policy to provide them free of charge to widows,” he said.

“In my home in Sharjah, I am in the process of adding this vital tool. It’s about ensuring peace of mind, knowing that we are prepared for any emergency,” he said.

“Having a fire alarm system can mean the difference between life and death, therefore it’s essential that we prioritise their installation in every home.”

Abdulla Al Ahmed, senior vice president of government sales at etisalat by e &, previously told The National there had been a surge of interest in Hassantuk as the deadline approaches.

“There is about an increase by 500 per cent of orders received every month from villa owners,” he said in August.

“This is due to availability of unique features such a native mobile app and enforcement of the Hassantuk mandate by Abu Dhabi municipality as part of the NOC process,” Mr Al Ahmed said.

What is Hassantuk?

To improve fire safety measures, property owners are required to enrol in the Hassantuk e-alert system, which sends notifications of fires to the civil defence.

The system has several functionalities, including alarm verification and providing firefighters with precise location details and the most efficient route to the fire incident.

While adherence to the scheme is now obligatory for newly constructed properties, existing homeowners had until January 1 to register.

How much does it cost?

Hassantuk was introduced in 2018 and initially subscription was optional.

Now, the basic plan starts from just over Dh237 a month for 24 months or there is a one-time payment for Dh5,903, according to the Ministry of Interior website.

After booking and completing a survey, homeowners will given a quotation depending on the size of the home. It will include the fire alarm panel and sensors needed.

Payment can be completed through the business centre by cash or bank card, or through the online portal.

Subscription contracts which are payable to e & by etisalat have a minimum commitment period of 10 years, after which a rolling one year extension is applied.

A cost will also be incurred to disconnect and decommission the devices at the end of the contract. More information on the terms and conditions from e & by etisalat can be found here.

Federal and local governments will install the e-alert system devices at no charge for low-income households receiving benefits from the Ministry of Community Development and people with villas under the Sharjah housing programme.

For newly built homes, federal and local authorities must ensure alarms are installed and the owner is subscribed to the e-alert system before granting building completion certificates.

Hassantuk uses a radio network with wireless sensors to ensure installation without the need for wiring.

Homeowners can visit the Hassantuk website to apply for the service or call 800 222 20.

Updated: January 24, 2024, 12:24 PM