Homeowners are mandated to install smoke and fire detectors in their villas, and subscribe to the UAE e-alert system by 1st January 2024.

Previously announced to be implemented on 1st September, the Ministry of Interior clarified that the original cabinet order from September 2020 only commenced the following January when it was published in the official gazette. This means that the three-year implementation period started from the beginning of 2021. Villa owners now have four months left to make the required upgrades.

“We urge homeowners to register in the Hassantuk programme and install fire detectors to protect their homes. Homeowners have until January 1 to comply with the cabinet order,” the Ministry of Interior said.

This order only applies to villas, as apartments already have the required fire detection systems in place and it also only refers to villa owners, which means that landlords would have to arrange installation and subscribe to Hassantuk for each villa they rent out.” The homeowner is responsible to install the fire alarm system at homes, not the tenants,” a ministry official confirmed.

The decision of the government to approve a fire safety scheme for existing and planned homes came in September 2020, after a number of unfortunate incidents came, including the death of an eight month old baby who died in a house fire in Dubai in July 2019.

Between 2017 to 2019, home fires caused 68 deaths and accounted for 66% of building and facility fires in 2019. In May of this year, a fire at a villa in Abu Dhabi took the lives of six people and injured seven more. The victims were all inside when the fire broke out in the Al Moazaz area, south-east of Abu Dhabi city. The ministry also reported that 43,000 detectors had been installed in villas across the country by mid-August, excluding Dubai.

Abdulla Al Ahmed, senior vice president of government sales at etisalat by e&, mentioned that there has been a surge of interest in Hassantuk as the deadline approaches.

“There is about an increase by 500 per cent of orders received every month from villa owners. This is due to availability of unique features such a native mobile app and enforcement of the Hassantuk mandate by Abu Dhabi municipality as part of the NOC process,” Mr Al Ahmed said. Etisalat by e& is also offering a Bukhoor mode where clients can enjoy incense without triggering the alarms.

“Etisalat by e& has continued to deliver Hassantuk nationwide across all the Emirates and will cross 50,000 homes installed in the coming month,” Mr Al Ahmed added.

Nazia Mustafa, sales manager of Red Blue Flame Fire Safety and Security Systems, mentioned that they were receiving between 120 to 150 requests for fire alarm systems installation from villa owners every month. “We install fire alarm systems in all buildings including villas. We are receiving many requests from villa owners across the country,” she said.

“There are a variety of devices used in the system that people can choose. Prices can start from Dh2,000 depending on size of the villa and brands too.”

Hassantuk is an e-alert system that will send notifications of fires to the civil defence and owners must sign up for it. It also verifies the alarm and provides firefighters with the exact location and fastest road route to stop the fire. As more and more homeowners subscribe to Hassantuk, the civil defence authority is working on reducing the firefighters’ response time from six minutes to just four minutes.

Signing up for Hassantuk is now mandatory for new-build properties, but owners of existing homes have until 1st January. Hassantuk was introduced in 2018 and subscription was optional. Now, the basic plan starts around AED 233 a month for 2 years or a one-time payment for AED 5,903, according to the Ministry of Interior website. It also allows tailored pricing, depending on how many rooms the villa has. A new set of fire detectors is being tested to give homeowners a wide range of options and prices.

Federal and local governments will install the e-alert system devices for free for low-income households receiving benefits from the Ministry of Community Development and people with villas under the Sharjah housing programme.

Completion certificates are granted only after federal and local governments ensure alarms are installed and the homeowner is subscribed to the e-alert system.

Homeowners can visit the Hassantuk website to apply for the service or call 800 222 20.


Source: The National – 31.08.2023 

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