Mandatory External lifts for firemen for all new building


By Maharashtra Bureau

The Grenfell Tower fire in London made Mumbai BMC think about the safety measures, once again. After the horrendous fire in London apartments; where more than 30 people killed on June 14th 2017; BMC officials have made installation of exclusive external firemen’s lifts “mandatory” in all upcoming building projects in Mumbai.

The BMC officials declared it; on the next day of the London fire; here in Mumbai. Mumbai fire officers told that since last month they have been insisting that upcoming building projects install external lifts; they gave no-objection certificates (NOC) to at least five such proposals only after they fitted firemen’s lifts.

Fire officials said that the firefighting systems and preventive measures are everything to save the people, when any fire blazes incident takes place. Controlling a fire glare takes long and makes the situation out of control, if a building’s internal fire-fighting system is not strong enough. The first intervention and preventive measures adopted by the residents can save the relevant incidence.

Ajoy Mehta- the BMC Chief said, “First intervention plays a crucial role in serious fires. We have conducted several programs to educate residents and provide them with training about fire safety measures.”

Firemen showed trust in the external lift only, which can play a crucial role in rescue work when a fire erupts. As, obviously, it helps them reach any of the floors without hindrance. Civic officials also said that they have also admitted the idea of a fireman’s lift in the proposed development control rules (DCR).

Fire officials said after examining previous blazes in Mumbai, they made conclusion that the reason behind such fires are mostly glass facade and ill-fitted composite panels. A fire official said, “Only fire-rated and tested glass facade and composite panels with ventilators can ensure that fire does not travel rapidly.”

It is admirable that the BMC took serious note of a series of high rise fires in 2015 and started an audit. It sent notices to several buildings and pressurizes the societies and builders to pay heed to fire safety norms. “We don’t have the power to seal a building for non-compliance of fire safety norms but have pressurized them to fall in line,” said a senior fire official. Chief fire officer P Rahangdale said, “We are fully equipped. We have a 90-metre ladder for fire-fighting operations. We regularly conduct fire audits of buildings and act against violators.”

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