Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Know what the building bylaws say

Know what the building bylaws say

Staff Reporter

Staircase should not be provided around a lift

Owners of buildings should maintain

fire-fighting system

Bangalore: The Building Byaws of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) mandate that occupancy certificate to all the high-rise buildings can be granted only after the Fire Service Department gives a “no objection certificate” after inspection.

For high-rise buildings, the bylaw prescribes the design and construction that are provided under the Fire Protection guidelines in the National Building Code of India.

For safe passage of fire tenders into the premises of high-rise buildings, the byaws permit parking space in the set back area after leaving a minimum set back of six metres around the building. It also allows construction of ramp in the set back area in such a manner that it does not affect the free movement of fire tenders.

Where a basement floor is permitted in apartments (residential flats) and hotels, the owner has to display the basement plan at the entrance. The Thimbles will have to be provided in the roof of the basement and their positions clearly indicated in the plan. Also, one fire extinguisher should be provided for every 100 square metres of basement area.

A staircase should not be provided around a lift unless the latter is entirely enclosed by a material of fire resistance rating. All fire escapes above ground level will have to be directly connected to the ground and not lead to the basement floor and all entrances to a fire escape will have to be separate and remote from the internal staircase.

Also, the route to the fire escape shall be free of obstruction at all times except a doorway leading to the fire escape which shall have the required fire resistance.

Spiral fire escape stairs, as per the bylaw, is permitted only in buildings having low occupant load and to buildings of not more than nine metres height, unless they are connected to platforms such as balconies and terraces to provide for a pause during escape. A spiral fire escape should not be less than 150 cm in diameter and should be designed to give adequate headroom

Officials in the BBMP Engineering Cell point out that it is the responsibility of the owners to properly maintain all fire extinguisher systems as prescribed by the Fire Service Department.

“There is no provision in the bylaw to inspect any building except in case of new buildings and in case of specific complaints. There is no need for provision for regular inspection of the high-rise buildings for the BBMP as it is the duty of the property owners to follow the norms.”

“They (property owners or occupiers) need to get pre-approval by the BBMP whenever the structures are altered contrary to the original sanctioned plan. The quality and maintenance of fire extinguishing systems is the domain of the Fire Service Department,” an officer pointed out.


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