Fire safety conference to kick off today

Ali Mokhtar, the director of Saudi Society for Fire Protection Engineers branch in the Eastern Province, addresses a gathering.

Ali Mokhtar, the director of Saudi Society for Fire Protection Engineers branch in the Eastern Province, addresses a gathering.

The Saudi Society for Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) will hold its fifth international conference today (Monday) in Al-Khobar that will discuss the latest methods of protection against fires.

Global fire protection experts will present intensive lectures and talks at the four-day event about various projects such as the construction of King Abdullah Financial Center in Riyadh that accommodates 65,000 people.

Two hundred and twenty fire protection engineers as well as architecture and civil engineers will participate in the conference.

Eastern Province Mayor Fahad Al-Jubair nominated some of the municipality’s engineers to attend the workshops related to the conference.

Ali Mokhtar, director of the society’s branch in the Eastern Province, called on representatives from concerned government and private organizations to attend the conference.

“We are looking forward to the participation of all concerned public and private sector bodies,” he said.

Mokhtar said the invited bodies included the Civil Defense, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, municipalities, the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the commerce chambers, customs departments and others.

He said there were more than 89,000 fire cases in the Kingdom during 2012- 2013.

“Of these, 15,000 cases, or 17 percent, resulted from electric short circuits.”

Mokhtar said precautionary measures are implemented by the Civil Defense or military and industrial circles.

He said: “The preventive measures start by applying safety rules and regulations in all buildings.

“The safety code should be applied to engineering plans before the start of construction.”

He said the safety code should also be strictly observed when building residential plots, road networks, public transport projects and others.

Mokhtar said the conference would discuss a scientific paper on the safety measures in high buildings.

“Many Saudi businessmen are now investing in towers and tall buildings.

“They have to be sure that their buildings will be safe from fires.”

He said the conference would also discuss safety measures against fires in prisons, social protection homes and detention rooms.

He revealed that there would be a special paper on fire protection measures at King Abdullah Financial Center in Riyadh, which occupies an area of 1.6 million square meters and consists of hotels, commercial offices, residential buildings, conference halls, exhibitions, government utilities and a car park accommodating more than 61,000 vehicles.

“More than 65,000 people will be working or living in this center, which is nearing completion,” he added.
Mokhtar said the financial losses resulting from fires in 2013 were SR211 million compared to SR131 million in 2013, an increase of about 60 percent.


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