90% of buildings inspected in Mumbai suburbs flouted fire norms
Nov 11, 2013
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: Suburban buildings are face a greater risk from fire, according to data from a fire brigade audit of residential and commercial buildings in the city this year.

Inspections conducted by the fire brigade in the island city and the suburbs, between April to September, found that most buildings surveyed in the western and eastern suburbs violated the safety norms.

Of the 1,397 buildings inspected in the western and eastern suburbs, notices were issued to 1,216 buildings for violation of fire safety norms. But even after being warned to take corrective measures, only 70 of these buildings filed compliance reports with the fire brigade.

Similarly, of the 2,346 buildings inspected in the island city, 605 were issued notices of which only four buildings complied with the directives.

The buildings inspected were high-rises, high-footfall areas like malls, multiplexes, industrial estates and government buildings.

The inspections were conducted randomly under the Maharashtra Fire and Life Safety Measures Act (2006), which makes it compulsory for buildings over seven-storeys tall, as well as public spaces like malls and multiplexes, to undertake fire safety compliance measures twice a year and submit reports to the fire brigade. The Act stipulates that every building more than seven storeys tall should have an internal fire-fighting system and sprinklers, and a clearly marked refuge area which should not be encroached.

Fire brigade officials said that residential societies take fire safety measures very lightly and wake up only when there is a fire raging in their buildings.

The fire brigade also plans to set up a special cell by mid-2014, to conduct inspections and implement the Fire Safety Act.

Currently, firemen are saddled with the task of undertaking inspections in their areas and issuing notices, in addition to attending rescue calls. The new cell, said officials, will help implement the norms more effectively and encourage frequent checks.

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