After auditing pubs, BBMP to bring stringent fire safety norms for high-rises

After auditing pubs, BBMP to bring stringent fire safety norms for high-rises

After auditing pubs, BBMP to bring stringent fire safety norms for high-rises

When it is done with the fire safety audits of pubs and bars, the BBMP would turn its focus on the residential apartments.

The Mayor and city officials would meet with members of the residential associations to discuss implementing a foolproof fire safety plan to prevent major blazes.

"We'll have this meeting very soon," Mayor R Sampath Raj told Deccan Herald, as he urged residents to take fire safety seriously for their own good.

Raj said the meeting would be part of the BBMP's budget preparing meeting with the Residence Welfare Associations. "Our officials would join forces with the fire department to inspect all residential and commercial buildings across the city," the Mayor said.

Even before the focus could shift to the apartment buildings, some RWAs have begun complaining that the builders have overlooked safety norms. "There're, indeed, instances of violation by the builders," admitted Srikanth Narasimhan, General Secretary of Bangalore Apartments Federation (BAF). "We'd like to sit with BBMP and fire department officials to discuss safety issues."

Narasimhan said some of the rules are unreasonable, pointing at the notification issued by BBMP asking 40% of apartment residents to register for a fire safety course by paying a fee to the civic authority.

"Builders violate fire safety norms rather flagrantly. This should be stringently looked into during construction or while issuing Occupancy Certificate (OC)," Narasimhan added.

The existing norms, however, stipulate builders to submit a No objection Certificate from the fire department for the BBMP to sanction the building plan sanctioned.

Post-construction, the fire department must inspect the building and issue a clearance certificate (CC) on the working condition of the fire safety measures installed.

The BBMP can issue OC only after it receives the CC. Fire officials should also inspect the buildings once in two years with the owner or member of RWA to ensure the safety systems are in place. The fire safety certificate they issue is needed to get renewal permission from the Corporation.

Uday Vijayan of Beyond Carlton –an organization promoting fire safety- said buildings below the 15-metre mark are also vulnerable to fire accidents. "We therefore urge authorities to ensure even such buildings follow safety norms. They should implement the rules strictly," he said.

Vijayan also said 7,445 people have died in a year due to fire at home, making it one of the most vulnerable places for sudden and deadly flames. "It's vitally important that you feel most safe at home," he said.