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Strict New Tests to Ensure Fire Safety

New UAE fire code demands mock up of cladding system be set on fire to pass test

Strict new rules under the latest UAE Fire and Life Safety Code includes setting on fire mock ups of actual cladding systems, industry experts said on Tuesday.

After the cladding system passes the new stringent test known as NFPA 285, it will be followed up with site inspections to confirm that the same materials and systems are being installed on the building.

Panels and insulation on buildings have helped spread major tower fires in the UAE over the years, prompting authorities to require safer claddings. The cladding materials covering the exterior of the buildings themselves had caught fire and enabled blazes — initially restricted to an apartment or a floor — to spread upwards, and even downwards.

In January, a senior Dubai Civil Defence told the Intersec Fire Safety Conference in Dubai that the new code aims to slash cladding fire risk to virtually zero.

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Paul Edwards
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