BMC plans fire audits to secure buildings

Operation

The BMC fire department will examine at least 70 buildings in the 24 wards every week for safety violations. In focus would be the tallest and most dangerous structures.

A senior fire officerm said, "Structures will be given priority based on their stability, number of floors and number of residents or workers." Fire station officers will conduct safety audits every week.

The fire brigade should inspect all structures, but due to shortage of manpower the focus has been on hospitals, malls and multiplexes.

The new system will ensure high-rises or buildings housing a large number of people get priority. All buildings flouting safety norms would be issued notices.

Buildings failing to put in place fire safety measures after a three-month notice period would face stringent action, including water and electricity cuts.

Meanwhile, the civic administration has put on the fast track a plan to install hi-tech fire alarms and set up monitoring units. The system will allow buildings a direct video interface with the nearest fire station. "We have invited proposals from private companies for the alarm system. After a detailed analysis of all the proposals, we will float tenders, said a civic official.

The system aimed at cutting crank calls will include an alarm unit that will enable residents of a building to call the local fire station and talk to fire brigade personnel at the push of a button. It will also have a camera connected by an optic fibre to a device to allow the fire brigade to view callers.

Fire in Bandra slum destroys 35 shanties

Around 35 shanties were gutted after a fire broke out at the Nargis Dutt slum in Bandra West at around 1.30 pm on Monday. Five fire engines and two water tankers brought the blaze under control by 3.50 pm. Station officer R M Shinde was hurt when a wooden beam fell during rescue. "He was treated (at Bhabha Hospital)," said Additonal Deputy Fire Officer A V Kale.

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