Delhi government notifies building bylaws for fire safety

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Monday issued a notification with 10 amendments to the Delhi building bylaws, 2016, to enhance fire safety in hotels in the city. In the notification, special directives have been given regarding the use of rooftops, basements, passages and exit routes for curtailing the spread of fire in public buildings, the government said in a statement.

“All existing and future guesthouses must install carbon monoxide smoke alarms, fire doors on each floor and remove all kinds of combustible materials from passages, exit routes and rooftops,” the notification said. The modified bylaws will be applicable to the area under the jurisdiction of the concerned local bodies — East Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The amendments were made and approved in February during an inter-departmental meeting, chaired by Home and Urban Development Minister Satyendra Jain. The notification was issued on Monday by Pawan Chopra, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, after approval from Jain.

On February 12, a fire broke out in the early morning at Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, leading to the death of 17 people.
Initial probe showed that many of the building regulations were not followed which could have reduced the impact of the horrific incident, the government said. “The government has decided to amend the existing Delhi Building Bylaws 2016 to prevent the recurrence of such ghastly fire incidents,” the Minister said.

As per the amendments, no kitchen will be allowed on rooftops or basements. No cooking activity of any kind will be permitted on rooftop or basement,” the notification said. It also restricted the storage of inflammable material on the rooftops. “No temporary roofing over the roof or terrace using any inflammable material will be allowed.”

Fire NOC for Guest House will not be issued to those buildings which have more than four floors (excluding basement and stilt floor), it said. “Inflammable materials of construction will not be used in passage, corridors or staircases like wooden paneling, foam paneling, carpet, etc.”

“Owner/Director/Partner will submit three signed hard copies along with one softcopy in PDF format of all the floor plans indicating the floor-wise use while submitting the application to the Fire Department for NOC.” Carbon Monoxide detectors and alarms are to be installed.

Fire doors having fire resistance rating of not less than one hour at the entrance of staircases at each floor level be provided where the number of occupants is more than 10 on each floor, it added. The Minister said: “It has been observed that many rooftops and basements are being misused for different activities which may have potential fire threat.” The owners will be required to submit floor plans indicating the use of each floor to the Fire Department while applying for NOC, he said.

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