Frequent fire mishaps involving various kinds of establishments in the city throw light on the need to bring more structures in the ambit of fire safety norms.
It was only providence and the alertness of Fire Department staff that saved a number of lives from being snuffed out in Saturday’s fire accident in a restaurant in Raidurgam.
About 40 persons are said to have been rescued by firemen from the second floor of the three-storeyed structure, which also housed an IT firm in the top most floor. The whole of second floor is reported to have been badly charred in the mishap, indicating the severity.
The latest incident comes two months after the devastating fire accident in Bhoiguda, in which all the 12 occupants of the building died, 11 on the spot and one a month later in hospital.
In both the cases, the structures did not come into the ambit of fire permissions, despite being commercial and requiring fire safety measures. In Bhoiguda’s case, several structural and trade irregularities too came out, and in the latest instance, it is reported that no fire safety equipment is in place in the building.
The GHMC requires No Objection Certificate from the Fire Department for all commercial buildings over 15 meters in height and all residential buildings over 18 meters in height, as a mandatory precondition before issuing building permission.
Further, the compliance with the fire safety norms is checked again at the time of issuing occupancy certificate.
“Several building owners are getting away using this loophole. Fire authorities have recently addressed a letter to the government seeking inclusion of commercial buildings of all heights for fulfilment of the fire NOC condition,” an official shared.
In case of old buildings lacking fire safety, the owners should be asked to retro-fit the buildings to suit the norms, he says.