Fire Safety norms for Apartment Residents in Mumbai
Mumbai Fire Brigade has given a recent ultimatum to high rise apartments, stars hotels and assembly buildings like cinema halls, commercial buildings, malls, shopping centers regarding mandatory adherence to Fire Safety norms. The Fire Brigade has placed a few category of buildings as “High Risk” and understandably implementation of Fire Safety norms for these buildings will be monitored very rigorously. Among residential buildings, apartments with height more than 45m (roughly 12 floors) is considered as “High Risk”.
Penalty for non-adherence can be six months to three years of rigorous imprisonment along with fine of Rs. 20,000 — Rs. 50,000.
This sudden ultimatum is an after effect of the recent building collapse incidents around Mumbai.
What does your Management Committee need to do?
As a part of Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measure Act, 2006 there are several fire safety installations which are required depending on the height of the apartment and the number of rooms in them. There are also minimum requirements which are designated on water storage and pump capacity. Once the mandatory safety compliances are in place, your management committee would have to provide deeper look into your society’s safety infrastructure. They would also have to connect with licensed vendors for conducting the audits in the apartment complexes. Other than the compliances put forth by the government, there are several other best practices regarding safety which your management committee should also look into.
What do you need to do as an apartment resident?
- From January 2016 each apartment would have to submit a form on Fire Safety Compliance to Chief Fire Officer or nominated officer.
- You have to get a Licensed Agency to verify fire prevention and life safety measures in your apartment and issue you a certificate in the format of a particular form — Fire Act Form B. Both the list of licensed agencies and Form B format are available in the following websites:
- The forms have to be submitted twice a year, once in January and once in July.
- Residents would have to submit these forms either online through the BMC website: www.mcgm.gov.in or submit it physically
- Extend full support to your management committee in implementing various safety regulations and making your apartment a safer place to live in. This may involve some changes in your lifestyle, but we would urge you to understand the bigger interest which is at stake here.
Register all your family members/room mates residing in your apartment, as users in ApartmentADDA. This will make sure that any emergency notifications sent by the society reaches them in the time of a disaster. Timely notification can help a lot in containing calamities.
Fire Safety in India
It was recently reported that Indian Parliament, one of the most protected structures in India, does not have a fire safety certificate for nearly a decade now. In Mumbai, around 90% of residential buildings do not comply with fire norms, 50% of schools do not have any fire safety mechanisms in place. According to recent report, a city of size like Mumbai should have around 100 fire stations. Currently there are only 33. Same is the case in all Indian cities. As population density of Indian cities are increasing, inadequate fire and other building safety provisions result into occurrence of many fires, building collapses that cause deaths and economic loss. Fire is still not taken as a serious threat and fire safety measures are considered as a waste of money.
Only if both administration and citizens work together, in a fair and dedicated manner sans corruption, can safety initiatives be properly implemented.
We should remember that we would not require fire prevention and safety measures around us every day. But the day we require them, if they are not in place, then our lives can get ruined forever.
What do you think, can Mumbai Fire Department’s initiative bring about increased adaption of fire and other safety measures around us?
Share the word regarding the importance of fire safety and the recent compliances in place, by sharing the link of this blog in your ADDA.
Originally published at apartmentadda.com on September 1, 2015.