The SAAC supports stringent control in Fire Code

Abu Dhabi
Global Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting Supports More Stringent Control on Steel in New UAE Fire Code

The Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting (SAAC) – an industry initiative of 17 global steel products manufacturers committed to combating counterfeit steel products, has pledged its support for more stringent regulations controlling the use of key building materials in ongoing revisions  of the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice 2016. According to the UAE Civil Defense Department, the code, which is undergoing its first significant revision since 2011, will be released within the next few months.

The updated version of the UAE fire safety code will contain more detail on specifications for cladding, mandatory requirements for owners and clarify responsibilities in construction, maintenance and repair work. It will also include comprehensive material tests and outline new consultant responsibilities ranging from material usage to regular site inspections.  

Dr. Carlo Farina, Managing Director, Friedrich Geldbach, Gmbh, said: “Steel has always been a key component of building infrastructure and we are likely to see demands for it to grow as major infrastructure projects continue to gather pace in this region. It is critical that industry players work together with policy makers and regulators to co-develop solutions that enhance the sector and evolve safety and security protocols. We strongly believe that steel materials require a greater level of recognition at a regulatory level.”

As part of increasing consultant accountability for material usage, the new code will require consultants to seek and present no objection certificates (NOC) from the UAE Civil Defense Department, a move aimed at ensuring that all contractors are sufficiently qualified.
Anaïs EIDEN, Group Senior Legal Manager, Intellectual Property and Innovation, Vallourec, said:  “The members of the Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting believe that the new Fire and Life Safety Code will result in consultants being more cautious and accountable when it comes to sourcing building materials. The use of counterfeit steel products increases the risk accidents both during construction and throughout the lifecycle of the building structure.”

Andrey Burtsev, Vice-President of sales, Interpipe, said: “Along with Dubai’s ongoing projects in real estate and energy in preparations for Dubai Expo 2020, it is increasingly important to ensure that we regulate the materials supply chain to protect the integrity of our structures and ensure the safety of the people.”

The construction boom in the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has led to increased competition among suppliers, resulting in unlawful conduct and negatively impacting product quality. The SAAC works to address and eliminate two forms of illicit practices, namely:

  • The fraudulent branding of non-certified steel products with the brand of well-known, certified suppliers often sold together with falsified certificates
  • The refurbishment of used steel products to appear and be sold as new

In that context, the SAAC advocates for the adoption of more stringent rules regarding the control of the steel products, in the revised UAE fire safety code. In particular, the SAAC supports increased authenticity checks of the of mill test certificates (MTC), to mitigate the use of counterfeit products. These controls are critical to guarantee the quality of the steel products and ensure compliance with the safety standards required within the construction sector.

The Alliance, which was first launched during the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) last year, will participate in this year’s event from November 7-9, 2016.

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