‘Major lifeline buildings’ to undergo fire safety audit

Srinagar, Jan 10: The government has asked for identification of “major lifeline buildings” in districts and the conduct their fire safety audit within a month.
The order has been issued by Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (MRRRD), department of J&K government, on Tuesday and sent to Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Chairpersons of District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
“All DCs and Chairpersons of DDMA shall identify major lifeline buildings, including important offices, hospitals, shopping mall centres schools, colleges and  universities within their districts and ensure their fire safety audit ,”reads the order.
Amir Ali, Director Disaster Management, said the report compiled in the month would be send to the government.
“We would see what measures would be required,” he said.
Asked if any external agency would be hired for the audit, he said the call was to be taken by the concerned DCs and Chairpersons.
Deputy Director Fire and Emergency Services, Mohammad Akbar Dar, welcomed the step.
“Once the report comes, the recommendations should be implemented,” he said.
Referring to National Building Code (NBC), Dar said, “Fire safety mechanism depends on nature and construction of the building.”
“Normally, we need fire plug, the provision of which has to be kept on the main water line. Besides, dedicated water source of 50,000 litre capacity will also be useful in extinguishing the fire,” he said.
Dar said that while doing fire safety audits, the number of floors, nature of construction and height has to be taken into consideration.
He said the “unnecessary drop gates” erected by the locals in the city obstruct the movement of fire tenders.
“Recently, in Azad Basti Natipora, a fire incident took place. After receiving the information, we went to the spot. The locals had erected the drop gate and we had to lay water pipes from a distance of one and half kilometre,” he said.
“Had there been no drop gate, we would have reached the spot instantly and doused the flames in time.”
He asked the people to keep broad approach roads so that in case fire incident, the movement of fire tenders can be ensured smoothly.
The top educational institutions in Kashmir have no fire safety mechanism in place, as admitted by Deputy Director, Fire and Emergency Services recently.
Even SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura which caters health care needs of a vast number of patients, has no fire safety mechanism.

 
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