The General Command of Civil Defence in the UAE has taken steps to enhance passive firestopping requirements and practices by issuing a Circular Memo titled “Enhancement of Passive Fire Stopping” on 8 June 2023. This circular refers to the “Federal Industry Workshop on Enhancing Firestopping” held on 17 November 2022, which aimed to explore methods for improving the existing fire stopping cycle in terms of design, approval, Engineering Judgment (EJ), installation, and inspection.
Outlined below are the key initiatives introduced to improve and strengthen passive firestopping systems:
- Engineering judgments shall now be approved by the Consultant instead of the Civil Defence.
- Installer qualification requirements has been updated, removing the necessity for IFC expert exam certification.
- Similarly, firestopping specialist inspector qualifications has been updated, eliminating the need for FM & UL/ULC certification, as these qualifications are more suitable for installers.
- The responsibility of engaging a House of Expertise to conduct passive firestopping inspections lies with the owner or consultant. Contractors are not allowed to hire a House of Expertise due to potential conflicts of interest.
- In the absence of a tested and approved system, contractors must ensure they check multiple suppliers for a tested and approved system before seeking an EJ from a manufacturer. This aims to minimise the number of EJs required when a tested and approved system is available in the market.
- On a project, multiple firestopping suppliers can be utilised to avoid EJs. However, materials from different manufacturers should not be installed within the same firestop system or opening.
- The EJ provided by the manufacturer must be accompanied by a justification letter explaining the reasoning and references behind the proposed EJ for approval by the House of Expertise.
- The qualifications of firestopping installers must be submitted to the House of Expertise for verification.
- Progressive inspections conducted by the House of Expertise shall take place at 20% intervals. Additionally, Civil Defence inspections are required at least once during the installation process and once upon final handover.
The Circular Memo from the General Command of Civil Defence is available via the links below:
These initiatives aim to strengthen passive firestopping practices in the UAE and ensure that fire safety standards are consistently upheld. If you require further details, kindly reach out to either the Dubai or Abu Dhabi branches of Vortex Fire.