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Whether Fire Safety And Evacuation Solutions are a Luxury or Necessity

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] May 31: In the wake of the tragic fire incidents at a Baby Care Centre in Delhi’s Vivek Vihar and Rajkot TRP Gaming Zone, the entire nation is seeking answers about their safety. It serves as a lesson for everyone to reconsider their view of luxury. Despite the Indian real estate market being valued at around 477 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 and estimated to reach one trillion dollars by 2030, the surge in demand draws immediate attention to citizen safety during hazardous events such as fires.

The Rajkot incident claimed the lives of 28 people, while in the Delhi fire incident, seven newborns lost their lives. The Gujarat Government has initiated an intensive fire inspection and discovered that over 90 high-rise buildings in Keshod City in the Junagadh district do not have the mandatory no-objections certificates (NOCs. 

Similarly many State Authorities have issued guidelines to take proactive measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. The BMC’s Mumbai fire brigade wing began an inspection of city malls starting, May 26. As part of this initiative, gaming zones inside these malls were also thoroughly checked. A total of 55 malls have been inspected so far, with 13 of them being served notices for not complying with fire safety norms, as per the fire department report.

The fire brigade officials have emphasized the importance of complying with section 3 (1) of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. This section mandates every owner or occupier to provide fire prevention and life safety measures in their building or a part of it.

The Fire Department, BMC, and Energy Department have been issuing stricter guidelines due to the increasing demand for properties in the state. With the growing height of buildings, the Energy Department of Maharashtra has issued an advisory to install Fire Evacuation Lifts in buildings having a height of 70 meters or above for Faster and Safer Evacuation. 

Dr. Deepak Monga, a Fire Safety and Evacuation Expert, asked Whether licensed or not, whether they had cylinders near the baby area, whether they had a fire system with no entry & exit and how they had a license till 2024.

In Mumbai, the earlier guidelines of the Bombay Lift Rules, 1958 are still being followed. The government must introduce new rules and guidelines that align with today’s infrastructure development to prevent such accidents. Clear specifications about fire safety and evacuation solutions are necessary to avoid fraudulent cases. Dr. Deepak Monga also emphasized the need for evacuation lifts or frameworks in smaller buildings, not just taller ones.

Earlier the Lift Inspector of Maharashtra shared that the old rules of 1958 are outdated and do not cover the technological aspects. A life of the lift cannot be decided on old rules. The revised new rules will have recommended adherence to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms.

There are a total of 899 private hospitals and nursing homes registered under the Maharashtra Nursing Home Registration Act 1949 that fall under the jurisdiction of the PMC. Mumbai experienced the second-highest number of property registrations with 11,500 units for April in over 12 years, according to an analysis by Knight Frank.

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