May 30, 2024

Fire safety measures: Safety measures take a back seat leaving most buildings in city at risk of fire | Hyderabad News


HYDERABAD: At least two out of 10 commercial buildings in Hyderabad have been found to have inadequate fire safety measures, leaving the city sitting on a powder keg.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has conducted a fire safety audit of around 5,000 prime commercial buildings below five storeys, of which 1,200 buildings do not have proper access to staircases.
Safety measures have been put on the back burner, leaving most buildings in the city at risk of fire.
During the inspection, officers found items blocking fire exits and basements, and that fire extinguishers, sprinklers, alarms and other safety devices were not working properly.
Notification of violations of rules
According to GHMC officials, if building owners are not adhering to fire safety rules, they will first be issued a notice giving them three days to rectify the situation and comply with the required norms. If the owners fail to take appropriate action within the stipulated time, a second notice will be issued giving them another week to address the issue.
“If the owner fails to make the necessary changes even after the second notice, the authorities will issue a third and final notice, which will inform the owner that his premises will be sealed for violating fire safety rules,” a GHMC official said.
EVDM and GHMC conduct training
The Executive Directorate of Enforcement Vigilance and Disaster Management (EVDM) and GHMC are conducting regular emergency evacuation drills in risk-exposed places and buildings such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls, office buildings, hotels and banquet halls.
During the training, the team will demonstrate how to escape from a fire, evacuate a building in an emergency, operate firefighting equipment, administer first aid and CPR to save lives, and more.
Commenting on the facilities required for buildings, fire safety consultant C Andrew said, “Every commercial building should have wet risers, ring mains, fire detection system, fire extinguishers, electrical panels, non-pressurized aerosol, whole building sprinklers, fire doors (automatic opening and closing), fire shafts in staircase and elevator hall areas.”
Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of commercial and residential high-rise buildings over five floors were fire-proofed, according to the fire department, and the data showed that of 1,349 such buildings, only 45 did not have proper protection.

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