Friday, May 29, 2009

Are we ready to fight fires?

Are we ready to fight fires?

Fire personnel engaged in extinguishing the fire at the agarbathi factory at K P Agrahara
Faiza Haneef & Naveen AmmembalaFirst Published : 29 May 2009 08:06:22 AM IST
BANGALORE: High-Rise buildings and multiplexes continue to violate fire safety norms, despite an increase in the number of fire mishaps.
The fire safety norms are not in place in most of these buildings, including hospitals and schools. None of the concerned departments is bothered to bring violators to book.
The recent fire accidents at the food court of Forum Mall, Cauvery Emporium and other places have highlighted the loopholes in the legal provisions that govern safety norms.
It is said that the mandatory inspections to ensure that safety norms are in place, are not a routine job any more. The Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services Department sources said that they had proposed to the government that it provide the latest technology to them as also a training academy.
"For effective fire fighting, there should be adequate staff, said Jija Hari Singh, DGP (fire and emergency services).
"We issue no objection certificate to buildings and ask the licencing authority to issue the licence once we are satisfied with fire safety measures," she said.
Buildings should have fire extinguishers, dry/wet riser, yard hydrant, automatic sprinkler system, manually-operated electric fire alarm systems, automatic detection system, underground static water storage tank and proper escape routes, she said.
Other agencies like fire services, electricity suppliers and municipal bodies also certify their respective components, before the licence is issued, she said.
Public places should be brought under periodical inspection clause for licence renewal, she added.
RECENT FIRE MISHAPS May 23 Materials worth more than Rs 2 Crore were gutted in a fire mishap at the Cauvery Industries and Exhibits outlet on trinity Circle, MG Road.
April 1 Fire mishap that occurred at Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium on M G Road Jan 27 Food Court in the Forum Mall in Koramangala damaged due to fire mishap. It raised the issue of preventive measures in highrise building.


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