Dubai Civil Defence expects Hassantuk fire alarm system in all villas by end of 2024

Installing the mandatory system can cost up to Dh2,200 - significantly lower than in other parts of the country

The installation of the Hassantuk system became mandatory from January 1 this year. Victor Besa / The National
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Hopes are high that all houses in Dubai will be kitted out with the UAE's fire safety system by the end of 2024, a senior civil defence official has said.

The installation of the Hassantuk system became mandatory from January 1 this year.

Maj Gen Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Dubai's assistant director-general for fire and rescue affairs, said: “We encourage all homeowners to take immediate action and install the system to ensure their homes are well-equipped to handle any potential fire incidents.

“We hope to have the system in all villas in the emirate by the end of the year.”

The cost of installing the system

The system consists of a fire alarm panel, a wireless heat detector and up to nine smoke detectors – depending on the size of the property.

Dubai homeowners will be subject to a different pricing structure from other parts of the UAE, which are following instructions on the Ministry of Interior website.

Maj Gen Al Mutawa said they will have to make a one-off payment of between Dh1,800 and Dh2,200, depending how much equipment is needed for their property, to install the system.

He said the price is competitive as Dubai officials looked to balance good quality equipment with affordable costs.

The basic plan on the Ministry of Interior website starts from Dh233 a month for 24 months, with an upfront payment of Dh1,000. The option to make a one-off payment of just under Dh6,000 is also available on the site.

“The fire safety system reflects our commitment to safeguarding the lives and properties of Dubai residents,” said Maj Gen Al Mutawa.

“There is a high demand on installing the devices this year as there is increased awareness among Emiratis and residents about the importance of having fire detectors.”

He advised Dubai homeowners to contact the Civil Defence to install the system or one of the installation companies – Naffco, Firex and Ateis – directly.

Maj Gen Al Mutawa advised installation companies to apply to the Dubai Civil Defence and have their equipment tested by the Emirates Safety Lab in order to join the list of approved installers.

Eslam Elbadawy, group director at Naffco, said that after the initial survey, installing the wireless fire detectors in villas takes between 10 to 15 minutes.

“We have been working with the Dubai Civil Defence for two years to provide these systems for villas. Our sensors are certified by the Emirates Safety Lab as per the requirement of the authority,” Mr Elbadawy said.

“The aim is to evacuate residents in case of a fire. It is a must to have the system at home to protect the lives of families,” he added.

The cost of not installing the system

The National reported earlier this month that those who did not install Hassantuk would face an initial warning before receiving a fine of Dh1,000.

The ruling came as part of a cabinet decision in 2020 after a number of fatal house fires in the Emirates, including the death of an eight-month-old baby in a Dubai house fire in July 2019.

All new-build villas must be equipped with the system.

The authority has also started installing the system in around 11,000 villas occupied by low-income families in the emirate.

“We have a collaboration with the Community Development Authority in Dubai to provide the list of low-income families to install the detectors,” said Maj Gen Al Mutawa.

“More than 60 per cent of the villas are already equipped with detectors and the rest will be covered by the end of the first half of 2024.”

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

It is already in operation in public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

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

Longtime Dubai resident Mohamad Hamadeh, 42, has two children and owns a villa in the Mira community.

He told The National that he replaced his basic smoke alarm detector with the Hassantuk system six months ago through Etisalat by e&. It cost him Dh5,903.

“My decision to install the system was driven by a desire for peace of mind rather than compliance with the regulations,” he said.

Mr Hamadeh, who has lived in Dubai for 17 years, said the system is reliable and efficient, after it was triggered by smoke from the nanny's iron while he was overseas.

“I received a call from the command centre to verify if there was a fire after smoke triggered the alarm.

“It was a false alarm but I admired the quick response from the firefighters,” he said.

“I installed the system for the safety of my family. It was expensive, but I feel protected all the time.

“I encourage all homeowners to consider installing the system as a preventative measure against potential incidents,” he added.

According to the Civil Defence General Command of the Ministry of Interior, electrical faults, incense burning, cooking, ironing and smoking were the causes of most of the fires in residential areas across the UAE in 2022.

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

Updated: January 19, 2024, 6:07 AM