The Dubai Civil Defence (DCD), an emergency management organisation of Dubai, has completed the testing for using nanotech in fire suppression operations and has also launched new smart applications.

Dubai has been facing raging fire situations over the past few years and to counter the problem, the city is embracing smart technologies to centralise its firefighting resources, so as to minimise the loss of property and life caused by the fire incidents.

In January the DCD announced the adoption of nanotechnology in the field of firefighting operations at the Intersec Fire Safety Conference. DCD also announced its intention to build a factory for producing these nanotech devices in the UAE, and launched eight new smart applications for managing firefighting operations.

The use of smart apps will help integrate and better co-ordinate the city’s firefighting department operations with other emergency response departments.

What is nanotech?

Nanotechnology is the application of science, engineering, and technology at a very small size, which is about one to 100 nanometers.

This can be applied across fields of chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering. DCD plans to manufacture these nanotech devices which are capable of detecting fire accidents at an early stage.

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By GlobalData

The nanotech units are about two centimetres by two centimetres, and can be produced as different-sized adhesive plates.

These plates are activated automatically, when the temperature increases in that confined area.

This triggers the release of gas required to extinguish the fire at the source.

The DCD also unveiled eight new smart applications for the fire department including automated stirring system, accident leaders, vehicles management, and civil defence stations panel, among others.

These applications will help in efficiently managing firefighting resources, and improve service time during fire incidents.

From a financial perspective, these digital initiatives will provide an opportunity for technology vendors to collaborate with the city’s authorities to provide support operations for these technologies, and reduce cost of operations for the public departments.

These support services can range from remote support for the command centres to security support for the online platforms and applications.

Dubai is updating and modifying all its operations

The city is also targeting to complete 100 smart initiatives and 1,000 smart services by the end of 2017 to transform the city’s resources into a smart city environment.

Although, these transformation initiatives will offer a host of opportunities for IT vendors, it is will also escalate competition among the vendors vying for those contracts and outsourcing services.

Furthermore, Dubai is taking wide-ranging steps in technology to modify all its operations.

To illustrate, in April 2017, the city decided to digitally transform all its public services, to be easily accessed through electronic channels by 2021.

Similarly, in April 2017, the DCD opened a new command centre to monitor buildings and ships, and plans to connect all homes in the city with the command centre by 2019 to monitor fire incidents.

In May 2017, it launched an electronic platform called Dubai Now which will allow access of all government services through the app.

This shows that the city is transforming all its administrative departments, emergency response departments, financial institutions, and critical infrastructure operations into digital smart platforms.

While this transformation will speed up operations, decrease service time and remove redundancies, it might also cause service disruptions due to security attacks and lack of interoperability.

Organisations and service providers need to closely collaborate with their security software and network vendors to update their legacy IT architecture so that it can be used with the new smart apps and sensor devices.