Mumbai Fire Brigade identifies 133 housing societies for non-compliance with fire safety norms

Dipti SinghUpdated: Monday, January 17, 2022, 10:00 PM IST
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Mumbai Fire Brigade identifies 133 housing societies for non-compliance with fire safety norms |

MUMBAI: Highlighting the negligent approach of many housing societies to fire safety norms, a random fire audit conducted by the Mumbai Fire Brigade found 200 of the 223 housing societies inspected to be non-complaint for fire safety norms. The Mumbai Fire Brigade has slapped notices to 133 of these housing societies.

After being criticised from all quarters following a series of fire incidents in the city, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) started fresh audits of housing societies and highrises across the city. As part of these ongoing audits, between November 8, 2021, to January 8, 2022, the MFB inspected 223 housing societies across 24 administrative wards for non-compliance with mandatory fire safety norms.

Of these 223 housing societies inspected randomly, only 23 were found to be compliant with the stipulated fire safety norms. The remaining 200 were found to be non-compliant. According to data shared by the MFB, 133 societies have been issued notices, while 67 housing societies have sought extended time to comply with the norms.

According to Hemant Parab -- Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of MFB many of these 133 housing societies have been issued notice to comply with the fire safety norms or face action. "We have issued notices to some in the last three months, while others will be issued notices shortly and the inspection will go on from time to time. The audits/inspection will continue and our teams will be visiting more housing societies and will be inspecting them. If we find any issues, violations, non-compliance, notices will be issued to them too. If they fail to take action and do not comply with the norms in the next 120 days since the time notices were issued to them, then these housing societies will be prosecuted as per the protocol," Parab said.

MFB has deployed teams of officers, who have started visiting the buildings for inspection at the ward level. These recent fire audits are the results of a series of fire incidents last year. The major violation, as per the audit, is the non-functional fire fighting system found in most of the inspected housing societies.

Parab said: "We have found out in many cases that the fire-fighting systems installed in the building are lying defunct in many such high-rises and building structures. After acquiring NOC and setting up fire-fighting systems, the system is then not maintained by many."

As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act, 2006, each housing society/building structure is given a maximum of four months to take action and repair the faulty fire-fighting system and complete the maintenance work, failing to do so in the given time will attract action.

The fire brigade’s notice to the housing society states that if the society fails to comply with the prescribed safety norms in the stipulated time then the building, as per rules, will be declared unsafe and electricity and water connection will be severed. Besides, legal action will be taken against the office-bearers of the society.

The fire brigade inspects the fire-fighting system in multi-storey/high-rise buildings and issues 'No Objection' certificates. After inspection, the defects/violation in the system are brought to the notice of the concerned person and a ‘No Objection’ certificate is issued subject to rectification/compliance. However, there is no re-checking / audit of whether the system has been rectified or not.

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