An intelligent, flexible solution for fire safety in the Middle East

An intelligent, flexible solution for fire safety in the Middle East

The Middle East region has been affected by several major fires over the years sadly resulting in people losing their life and millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

The region is known for its hot and arid climate, which makes it prone to wildfires and other types of fire hazards, including false alarms caused by dust and sand particles. Additionally, many older buildings in the Middle East are constructed with flammable materials, which can easily ignite and spread fire.

In recent years there has been a substantial increase in infrastructure, and therefore, an increased requirement for the installation of fire detection and emergency lighting systems. Education about fire safety through public campaigns, workshops, and training programs is high up on the agenda of the region’s leaders. And from an industry point of view, the use of fire-resistant materials, and proper fire safety measures being implemented by construction companies is critical. Fire consultants and electrical engineers are looking to manufacturers for innovative, reliable, and easy to implement smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire safety systems, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.

It is the duty of those in charge of safety to recognise the risks fire poses to their buildings and ensure that potential fire outbreaks are minimised with the incorporation of specialist fire detection equipment.

Life safety products, like those produced by world leaders Hochiki, can support duty holders in keeping the buildings and people they are responsible for safe. Below are some of the certifications, systems, and devices from Hochiki which you may want to consider for your next project across the region, including some real-world examples.

UAE Civil Defence Approval

For an office, restaurant, or any other business in Dubai to open it is necessary to gain DCD Approval from Dubai Civil Defence along with the Dubai Municipality or DM. Dubai Civil Defence Approval rules over the safety and security of the establishments and the occupants within its jurisdiction. Hochiki Fire Detection and Emergency Lighting Solutions are approved in the following Emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Sharjah.

EN Approved fire detection

Hochiki’s EN approved range offers two types of fire detection system, the ESP intelligent analogue addressable fire alarm system and the CDX conventional system, as well as a range of ancillary and test equipment.

Products are strictly tested by a third party, such as LPCB, VdS and DNV GL before being granted an approval certificate.

UL Approved Life Safety Systems

At the backbone of the FireNET analogue addressable system is the FireNET control panel itself. Utilising Hochiki’s patented Digital Communication Protocol (DCP), it allows for robust intelligent communication with other Analogue addressable products.

Products are strictly tested by a third party, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or FM (Factory Mutual Laboratories) before being granted an approval certificate.

Next generation emergency lighting

Intelligent, self-testing and self-monitoring emergency lighting system is set to revolutionise the emergency lighting market in the Middle East and India.

Building upon the success of the FIREscape range launched in 2009, the brand new FIREscape Nepto range brings with it a suite of new features and benefits driven by technology improvements and innovations in the research and development process.

The system is BS 5266 compliant and is based around an addressable, control panel with self-contained LED-based luminaires and exit signs running on an extra-low operating voltage (helping towards environmental targets). The new system is backwards compatible with the existing panels and devices within the older FIREscape range.

With the ability to continually self-test and monitor itself, installation and maintenance of the new emergency lighting system is quick, easy and less costly compared to centralised battery or mains-powered systems.

The team behind the new design are also working on a cloud-based subscription service which is set to be released later this year. This service will enable remote access via internet enabled devices, providing system notifications and the ability to monitor and interrogate multiple client sites from anywhere in the world.

Intrinsically Safe for Hazardous environments

For life safety in hazardous environments, devices which are classified as ‘intrinsically safe’ (IS) should be used. This means they can operate at extremely low voltages and cannot produce any spark in the case of a short circuit, overheated component, or power overload. Additionally, with intrinsically safe products from Hochiki, the Zener or Galvanic Isolator barriers between the safe and hazardous zones will limit the amount of electrical current traveling into any hazardous area.

Another safety measure for duty holders to consider is whether to install ‘explosion proof certified’ devices. Fitted with steel-alloy enclosures, these products will contain any sparks prohibiting any chance of wider ignition or explosion.

SIL Capable Products

In specialist environments where safety is a 24-hour concern, duty managers should also consider using SIL capable products. This accreditation assesses the Safety Integrity Level of a complete life safety system by evaluating the potential risk of failure of each component device – making it ideal for petrochemical, nuclear and energy sectors. Each device will be awarded a rating between 1 and 4, although most SIL applications will request a SIL capability of 2 or more. For duty-holders, using SIL capable life safety products alongside SIL capable equipment will ensure virtually failproof protection.

At Hochiki Europe, we are proud to be accredited by a range of leading international bodies and we have acquired a Level 2 rating for all our SIL products.

Rail approved fire safety devices

Designed to take up to 13,380 passengers an hour on its green line, and 11,675 passengers an hour on its red line at peak time, the Dubai Metro is almost 75 km long. With tens of thousands of passengers using the network daily and the system itself operating in a hot and sandy environment, any false alarm could potentially cause mass disruption and cost the operator financially, especially during peak service times.

Hochiki ESP (which is Rail Approved) sensors have been installed inside both the metro stations and inside the tram coaches, as this project was considered an extremely sensitive area with thousands of people transiting at a time, posing a higher chance of triggering false alarms. The system is configured so that any fire alarm triggers the sending of a command to the central station, which halts the operations within the entire network, until the problem is rectified.

Desert proof life safety to reduce false alarms

Combining both Arabic and African culture, Khartoum is a unique and diverse city, and at the heart lies Sudan University, boasting beautiful architecture, the university is an inspiration for many students who study there as well as tourists’ sightseeing agendas.

Temperatures frequently soar to over 40 degrees and the city is often threatened by dust storms, exposure to dust can often cause severe interference to devices and result in false alarms being raised or device malfunction, finding a system to cope with this was essential. Hochiki’s HFP range was selected because of its ability to perform in even the most demanding environments – an important benefit when considering the extreme weather conditions Sudan faces. The range features all the benefits of Hochiki’s Enhanced System Protocol (ESP) including a reduction in false alarms, as well as being fully compliant to world recognised standards with long-term reliability of performance.  A further vital feature of the HFP range is the inclusion of a high-performance chamber which allows for adjustable sensitivity settings, reducing the likelihood of false alarms.

The ability to adjust sensitivity settings makes Hochiki’s range of life safety devices and systems the perfect choice for desert life, especially for businesses that want to avoid unnecessary disruption.

Fire prevention in the Middle East is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach. By taking proactive measures, educating people about fire safety, implementing the latest life safety technology, working with experienced and trusted fire safety advisors and being mindful of potential fire hazards, responsible persons can reduce the risk of fires and ensure the safety of everyone in the region.

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