Preamble to the Overview

CPI Industry, producer of the popular Annual HVAC Fire Safety Conference, brings to you ‘Towards a State of Calm’, the fifth in the CPIWebinar series of discussions, in H1 2020, with the avowed objective of sharing up-to-date insights and recommendations on fire prevention and fire protection in the GCC region. The Webinar is based on the sentiment that fire safety needs to be continually addressed, COVID or otherwise.

The buildings of today – be they residential, commercial or industrial – are more complex than ever before in human history. They vary in shapes and sizes and typically include villas and townhouses, high-rises, ultra-high-rises and large interconnected structures, serving specialised environments, such as airports, hospitals and venues of mega-events. And while they reach out to the skies, they conceal below-the-ground environments, typically car parks, road tunnels, pedestrian subways, and metro stations and moving train cars that course through them.

To add to the complexity is the unprecedented and sophisticated nature of building materials. No longer are buildings made of just brick, mortar and wood; today, they comprise synthetic foams, light-weight polymeric building materials and fabrics, to name just three.

In short, buildings present a complex set of challenges, including hitherto unheard of fire profiles and fire loads for policy makers, planners, fire prevention and firefighting personnel, building owners, other sectoral end-users, project managers, architects, consultants, contractors, manufacturers and O&M personnel.

In the GCC region, which is characterised by ambitious, young and growing cities, the pace of development is rapid and, at the same time, accommodative of the varied needs of a fast-increasing urban population. The intent is to get things right from the onset, to minimise, if not to eliminate, firerelated incidents, but the translation of intent to implementation is iterative in nature, with room for improvement, as it ought to be in a fast-changing dynamic.

‘Towards a State of Calm’ is a GCC region-centric fire prevention and fire protection webinar that is timely and topical in nature. Through predominantly presenting and elaborating on issues that are at the crossroads, it offers an immersive experience to an audience largely comprising building and facility owners. It aims to inform, and calm and assuage them by sharing the possibility of a fit-for-purpose ecosystem of strategies, measures, technologies, vigilance and continuous improvement.