Following on the events the new year’s fire incident, here are the reasons why I think these high-rise buildings in the UAE caught fire and expanded rapidly, and exponentially, on several occasions recently. This is mainly due to the flammable skin.
Let me explain how this can happen; the rubber stuff (sealant) between the aluminum panels would eventually crack and expose the flammable insulation wool behind it. These rubber joints would fail either due to a poor quality, bad installation, or low maintenance routine. Keeping that in mind, add to this that someone might be smoking and throwing a cigarette bud out of the window or balcony.
Depending on the weather at a given day, the wind could blow the bud away or back onto the building facade, where it could end up between the aluminum facade joints; that’s where it can hit the inner thermal wool insulation which is extremely flammable.
Here, the material used is to blame. After these sad events, we should encourage owners to have a safer investment, architects to have better performing building, and governments to have a safer urban environment.
Also, I would like to see exterior sprinklers fire systems added to the cladding of every building. This will also help in the safety of any nearby threats, like petrol stations, hospitals, schools, …etc.
I wish to see these fire-affected buildings back up and shining in the landscape of Dubai very soon Insha’Allah.