Gurugram: Highrise residents sceptical over fire preparedness at societies
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Gurugram: Highrise residents sceptical over fire preparedness at societies

The residents alleged that their societies lack fire safety mechanism.

Gurugram: Highrise residents sceptical over fire preparedness at societies

Gurugram: At a time when several incidents of fire in illegal factories have been reported from Delhi and Gurugram, the high rise societies in the city are also getting sceptical about the preparedness to deal with fire. As per them, they are vulnerable to fire incidents.

They alleged that their societies lack fire safety mechanism and are not fully equipped to meet the challenges if any need arises.

According to a senior official of fire department, every developer must give careful attention to the design and the fire safety norms in the National Building Code. The high rise building must have inbuilt fire fighting equipment. 

The staircases of these buildings should be made in such a way so that the smoke will not come up on the stairs in case of fire and people can be evacuated without the risk of stampede. There should be a smoke detector on every floor of the building to alert the residents in case of fire. Sprinkler should get functional when the floor temperature is above 60 degrees.

Additional Divisional Fire Officer, Isham Singh Kashyap said, “Buildings above 15 meter need to have inbuilt fire safety mechanism as per the norms under the National Building Code. Fire NOC were issued after examining the safety plan, evacuation plan and equipment. It is mandatory to hold fire mock drills in every three months and submitted visual proof for the renewal of NOC annually. People should be made aware of the rescue plan during the mock drills to meet any challenges.”

However, the residents alleged that the developers are blatantly flouting the rules risking their lives without any fault of them. Dharamvir Singh, RWA president Mapsko Casbella said, “There are several discrepancies in the fire safety equipment in the society posing serious threat to the lives of residents. We have made the complaint to DTCP against the builder in August this year but nothing has been done by the concerned department.”

Many societies in the city are not following the fire safety norms effectively drawing ire from the residents. In some places smoke detectors are not installed by the builder or are not in working condition. Maintenance staff are not trained properly to respond at the time of any disaster.

Fire extinguishers are well past their expiry date and fire hydrants are not in working condition. There was no regular mock drill to aware residents on how to response in emergency or how to use equipment.

NBCC Green View in Sector 37 D residents have also expressed their concern over the fire safety mechanism in their society. “No mock drill happened after May and several discrepancies were found in the last drill. We have sent five reminders to the builder and only few concerns were addressed so far,” said Yadvender Yadav, a resident of the society.

Agitated over lackadaisical attitude of the authority and builder, Aditya Jhakar, a resident of Sare Homes said, “The builders have been served with four notices from the fire department since April this year despite that builder has done nothing to rectify the anomaly found in the inspection. They are waiting for some mishap before taking any action.”

According to the fire department, there will be action against the violators as per the Haryana Fire Service Act, 2009. If they don't respond to the notices, cases will be filed against them in court. In 2012, the department had identified 150 buildings which were not par with the fire safety norms and 89 buildings were penalised by the court for failing to adopt the fire safety measures.

The fire department has already filed cases against the Shivshankar CGHS in Sector 51, Ultra Home construction in Manesar Sector 2, Scotish Mall on Sohna Road, Ambience Lagoon in DLF Phase 3 for non-compliances of fire safety measure and the next date of hearing is in February, 2020.