Fire safety systems, also known as fire protection systems, play an important role in the detection and prevention of fires in several sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas, infrastructure development and mining. The global fire safety systems market is expected to exhibit a double-digit CAGR in the next 3 years and reach a valuation of around US$ 70 B by 2018. On similar lines, the Middle East fire safety systems market is also expected to expand at a high double-digit CAGR. Increased regulations from the governments, innovations in fire safety technology and increased awareness about fire safety will play a major role in the growth of fire safety systems market in the Middle East.
- • Government Regulations and Innovations in Fire Safety Systems: The Driving Force in the Middle East
Home to the world’s largest oil and natural gas resources, most nations in the Middle East are dependent on the export of oil. Oil exploration, production, transportation and storage sites and activities are vulnerable to fire hazards, making fire safety systems a necessity to guard against the loss of life and property. Hence, government regulations and innovations in fire safety technology are the main drivers for the growth of the fire safety systems market in the Middle East.
Middle East countries have benefitted tremendously from the revenue earned by oil exportation and this has spurred infrastructural growth, especially in the cities, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Doha. This has also contributed to the growth of Middle East fire safety systems market, as builders have to abide by the government’s regulations on having fire safety systems in place.
- • Civil Defence Authorities Playing Active Role in Implementing Fire Safety Mandates
Civil Defence Authorities in the Middle East have played a notable role in promoting and implementing fire safety. The authorities have played an active role in promoting interactions between fire safety system providers and dignitaries from industries such as oil and gas, construction, manufacturing and financial services.
Regular industry events have contributed a fair share to the heightened awareness about fire safety systems in the Middle East. The Annual Middle East FireSafe event, whose 5th edition was hosted in Dubai, UAE in October 2014, focused on integrated approaches to fire code regulation, hazard management and life safety for the public. The Middle East FireSafe Conference is held every year and is supported by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior and Directorate General of Civil Defence – Dubai. Here is an overview of the key region-wise developments in the Middle East fire safety systems market:
- In Dubai, Civil Defence has made it mandatory for all new villas and apartments to have fire alert systems in place.
- Kuwait has also taken the lead in introducing fire safety reforms. The Kuwait Fire Safety Directorate (KFSD) has partnered with private petrochemical companies to raise awareness on how fire safety systems, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, gas cylinders and fire evacuation can reduce the risk of loss of life and property.
- Qatar too has taken initiatives to improve fire safety and has collaborated with a leading technology company to establish a centralized alarm monitoring system. This centralized system is aimed to reduce the response time for fire emergencies.
Innovation in fire safety technology has given impetus to the global fire safety systems market, and the situation is no different in the Middle East. Awareness about the benefits of replacing old fire safety systems with new ones has also contributed to the growth of fire safety systems market in the Middle East.
- • Digitization and Intelligent Integration is the Way Ahead for Fire Safety Systems
Advanced fire alarm and notification systems that work on digitized voice technology are highly sought-after in the market, as they relay quick information to occupants during a fire emergency. Fire safety systems installed in hospitals and schools are also being replaced with ‘pre-action’ systems that offer both a sprinkler system and a smoke detection system. The innovation in wireless sensor networks has also contributed to the growth of fire safety systems market. These sensors do not need any power cabling, thus providing greater flexibility to be used in spaces where no power is available.
The innovation in human machine interfaces (HMI) and their effectiveness in detecting fires has also given an impetus to the fire safety systems market. HMIs are linked to a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system which provides accurate data to control units, thereby helping in effective management of fire safety systems.
The technological innovation in fire suppression systems is also driving the growth of the fire safety systems market in the Middle East. Notable among the new fire suppression systems are the early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinklers. These sprinklers are being increasingly preferred over traditional sprinklers as these spray greater amount of water and help suppress high-challenge fire scenarios.
The high initial cost of installing fire safety systems is a major challenge for the growth of this market in the Middle East. Many organizations do not have the budget to install all the required fire safety systems and this is a major challenge for the growth of this market. Innovations in manufacturing technology can help reduce the cost of fire safety systems and provide a great opportunity for growth.
Fire safety systems market is also segmented on the basis of end-users. Floating production storage and offloading (FPSO), floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG), offshore rigs and fixed platforms. Owing to the fact that the Middle East region is home to the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, the demand from offshore rigs is going to be the major growth factor for fire safety systems market here.
Key players in the Middle East fire safety systems market are Gentex Corporation (U.S.), Consilium Middle East (Sweden), REDA Fire & Safety (Saudi Arabia), Tyco International Ltd. (Switzerland), Hochiki Corporation (Japan), Marioff Corporation (Finland), United Technologies Corporation (U.S.), Deluge Fire Protection (SEA) Pte Ltd. (Singapore) and Minimax GmbH & Co. KG (Germany).