Fire safety: Banned cladding to be removed from high-rise buildings in Sharjah

The Sharjah Municipality has launched a crackdown on the buildings that continue to keep cladding facades, as part of its efforts to prevent fire accidents in residential units. The inspection focuses on the review of safety requirements in these buildings to ensure that they maintain the specifications and protection requirements for fire safety.

Thabit Al Tarifi, Director-General of the Sharjah Municipality, who heads the inspection campaign, said that it aims to check the buildings with aluminium and other flammable claddings and make the necessary changes according to a plan undertaken by the municipality’s engineering and buildings sector. “This inspection comes within the framework of the municipality’s keenness to apply the best specifications and standards in all buildings to ensure the highest safety rates and fire prevention,” he added. He urged managements and owners of the buildings to strengthen the safety standards and adhere to the requirements.

He said that the municipality facilitates procedures for the building owners to help them replace aluminium claddings with non-flammable materials.

Khalifa bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, assistant director-general of the Engineering and Buildings Sector, said according to the municipality regulations, buildings with a height of more than 23 metres or equivalent of seven floors should not have aluminium cladding. In 2016, following a number of fire accidents in high-rise buildings, the municipality banned the use of aluminium cladding in the facades of the buildings.

The municipality had notified contractors, consultants and owners of buildings to implement a decision which calls for not using aluminium cladding for high-rise buildings. The civic body has conducted a comprehensive survey of existing buildings with aluminium facades in all commercial, residential and industrial areas in the city. He stressed that the municipality will continue to raise awareness of the dangers of using aluminium cladding through various means of media and direct communication with owners, contractors and consultants