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Innovation holds the key to the future

‘We can keep on doing things the same as we’ve always done or we can learn from past experiences both good and bad and innovate for future success’ 

Much has happened within the past few months within the fire sector and many questions are being asked at the highest levels of government and within the fire industry. Over the coming months the impact, if any, of the introduction of the 5% VAT in 2018 within GCC countries will need to be considered by industry professionals.

Rather than looking backwards and to ensure the on-going development of the Middle East, Dubai as city of the future has taken a positive step with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai introducing a programme across the Government sectors, being the first of its kind in the world, called the Dubai 10x Initiative. This initiative will contribute to the implementation to the vision of Dubai as a city of the future, through new mechanisms of action which undergo disruptive challenges and change that mimic the future, and contribute to the sustainability of a competitive Dubai.

Within the UAE Dubai Civil Defence have made exceptional progress in meeting these objectives over the last few years and have embraced innovation, new technology and process. The Dubai Civil Defence official website has become a professional resource to all firefighters worldwide, providing an information hub for spreading the safety culture across society, providing guidelines for all private and public sectors dealing with Civil Defence and providing a window introducing new services. Key Departments within DCD include:

  • Department of Operations
  • Firefighting & Rescue Department
  • Technical Affairs Department
  • Marine Fire & Rescue Department
  • Preventative Safety Department
  • Department of Civil Protection

A key initiative that has been implemented by DCD is the Smart Services e-engineering and 24×7 smart monitoring. Installation of the Dubai Civil Defence 24×7 Direct Alarm System in all public and private buildings and establishments in Dubai, is a mandatory requirement laid down by law No. 24 of 2012. With the system in place, Dubai Civil Defence are monitoring buildings in real time for life and safety alarms. E-monitoring of this magnitude strengthens the safety infrastructure of the city increasing safety measures. From the Souks of Old Dubai to the iconic sky scrapers, Dubai Civil Defence will be able to effectively protect the city’s national wealth and the people who move in and around it. Using state of the art M2M technology, every building and asset within Dubai, both government and privately owned, will be monitored for fire, lift and emergency alarms 24×7.

The system provides Civil Defence with a pre-existing information database of the building containing shortest route to the building, the number of levels, emergency entrance and exits, surrounding buildings, hazardous materials inside the building and nearest water supply point. This allows Civil Defence to choose suitable equipment for every incident allowing them to respond more effectively. The system also provides the following:

  • A range of alarm signals sent via the system to Civil Defence, including fire alarm, elevator alarm, emergency alarm, safety equipment malfunction, power interruption, low water level in reservoirs, water pump malfunction and gas leakage alarm
  • Regular testing of fire-fighting equipment such as fire pumps are coordinated from the control room to ensure that systems are live and active

The Direct Alarm System is installed in a building and links with the command control center at Dubai Civil Defence. Using remote-communication technologies such as GPRS and GPS, the system monitors the building in real time, 24 hours a day, and continually exchanges data and information regarding the building’s emergency status on active dashboards.

It is truly believed innovation will have a genuine impact on the improvement of the fire and rescue profession with it’s dedication to protect lives and properties, particularly in today’s world that changes rapidly in all walks-of-life.

Professionals and experts are involved to analyse fire and rescue needs in varied technological circumstances, to face operational challenges, and to assess firefighters developing skill sets and to propose innovative solutions for potential problems, as well as meeting the specialist requirements of operational firefighting.

As we enter 2018 all professionals within the fire industry should work together and share knowledge and experience for improving fire safety within all areas of the built environment.

For more information, go to www.ife.org.uk/branches/GCC-UAE

Branch President, GCC Branch – The Institution of Fire Engineers.

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