May 29, 2024

Fire Safety Audits for City Hotels, Hospitals and Commercial Buildings, ET Real Estate


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“/>Representative ImagePRAYAGRAJ: A massive fire at a gaming zone in Gujarat's Rajkot has killed more than 20 people, in a shocking incident for police, fire and local authorities. The fire department has launched a 12-day special fire safety audit of commercial buildings and multiplex cinemas.

Fire inspector general (Prayagraj) RK Pandey told TOI that the fire department has deployed a total of 10 teams — two each in Civil Lines and Naini and one each in Handia, Mejha, ​​Phulpur, Solaon, Koraon and Bara.

He further said, “These teams will inspect the fire fighting arrangements of around 400 buildings including hotels, hospitals, commercial establishments and shopping malls from May 26 to June 6. The authorities have also asked building owners and managers to improve fire safety arrangements, failing which notices will be issued after June 6.”

The department also sealed off a gambling den at a multiplex cinema in Civil Lines after a fire audit on Monday night found inadequate fire-fighting measures. “While carrying out inspections at several commercial establishments in the city, the department has asked them to replace old, rotten electrical wiring and outdated fire-fighting equipment,” the CFO said, adding, “Majority of the owners of commercial establishments in the city, including those in key areas like Civil Lines, Chowk, Ghanta Ghar and Katra, are unaware of any electrical safety audit.”

The authorities are also checking whether commercial establishments in the city have got NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Electrical Safety Department and taking action accordingly. However, taking a cue from the Rajkot gaming zone fire, fire department officials have advised managers of various commercial establishments and complexes in the city to opt for electrical safety audits by the Electrical Safety Department at the earliest.

Fire department officials have advised shopkeepers to renew wiring as old wiring cannot withstand the increased load and often leads to short circuits. Meanwhile, Pandey said, “Management of hospitals, hotels and large commercial establishments have also been directed to install state-of-the-art fire safety systems in their premises. A four-point safety guideline has also called on the authorities concerned to ensure adequate space in escape routes and that each shop owner should take measures to extinguish fire. Moreover, shopkeepers should switch off all electrical appliances before lowering shutters. A recent survey conducted by the fire department revealed that over 60 percent of shops in the city do not have proper fire extinguishing measures and are unaware of the steps to be taken in case of fire. Meanwhile, fire department officials said, “Fire department officials are regularly advising residents to take up state-of-the-art fire extinguishing measures, especially well-planned escape routes.” Commercial establishments must be equipped with the required number of fire extinguishers, emergency hose reels, terrace tanks and terrace pumps.

If the size or shape of the commercial store is one or two storeys or more, the layout should be strengthened accordingly.

Published on May 29, 2024, 11:00 AM IST

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