Mumbai: Highlighting the negligent approach of many housing companies to fire safety standards, a random fire audit conducted by the Mumbai Fire Department found that 200 out of 223 housing companies inspected did not complain about fire safety standards fire. Mumbai firefighters slapped notices to 133 of these housing corporations.
After coming under fire from all sides following a series of fires in the city, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) has launched new audits of housing companies and high-rise buildings across the city. As part of these ongoing audits, between November 8, 2021 and January 8, 2022, the MFB inspected 223 housing companies in 24 administrative districts for non-compliance with mandatory fire safety standards.
Of these 223 randomly inspected housing companies, only 23 were found to comply with the prescribed fire safety standards. The other 200 were found to be non-compliant. According to data shared by the MFB, 133 companies received notices, while 67 housing companies requested an extended deadline to comply with the standards.
According to Hemant Parab – Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of MFB, many of these 133 housing companies have been ordered to comply with fire safety standards or face action. “We have issued notices to some in the last three months, while others will be shortly and inspection will continue from time to time. Audits/inspections will continue and our teams will visit more housing companies and inspect If we find any issues, violations, non-conformances, notices will also be given to them If they do not take action and fail to comply with the standards within 120 days of the date the notices are given to them were issued, then these housing companies will be prosecuted according to protocol,” Parab said.
The MFB has deployed teams of officers, who have started visiting buildings for neighborhood-level inspection. These recent fire audits are the results of a series of fire incidents last year. The major breach, according to the audit, is the non-functional fire-fighting system found in most of the housing corporations inspected.
Parab said: “We have found in many cases that the fire fighting systems installed in the building are obsolete in many high-rise buildings and building structures. After acquiring NOC and setting up fire fighting systems against fires, the system is then not maintained by many.”
As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act 2006, each housing company/building structure has a maximum of four months to take action and repair the faulty fire fighting system and complete the maintenance work, failing to do so within the allotted time. time will attract action.
The fire brigade‘s notice to the housing company states that if the company fails to meet the prescribed safety standards within the stipulated time, the building, in accordance with the rules, will be declared unsafe and the electricity and water connections will be cut. In addition, legal action will be taken against the directors of the company.
Firefighters inspect the fire-fighting system in multi-storey/high-rise buildings and issue “no objection” certificates. After inspection, faults/violations in the system are brought to the attention of the person concerned and a certificate of “no objection” is issued subject to rectification/compliance. However, there is no rechecking/auditing whether the system has been rectified or not.
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Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 07:00 IST