The state Fire and Emergency Services (FES) department has urged the owners of new and upcoming residential buildings, restaurants, hospitals and other such places to incorporate a fire shaft in the structures to enable a faster evacuation process in case of a fire incident.
Apart from adequate fire fighting arrangements, the department is now laying stress on ensuring faster evacuation of people in case fire breaks out at markets, hospitals, restaurants, residential buildings and so on.
The fire shaft, as informed by Mr Jag Mohan, director general of state fire and emergency services department, will be built inside the buildings with a fire check door to prevent the flames from entering the shaft area. It will also have stairs and lifts leading the evacuees into an open space which will be free of any inflammable substance.
The department in the recent past has undertaken a fire safety audit drive not only in the city markets and malls, but also various hospitals.
According to Mr Jag Mohan, several kinds of problems including nonfunctional sprinklers, pumps, wrong positioning of fire check doors and issues in the refuge areas have been found in the hospitals during the audits conducted by the fire department officials.
“Although some of the hospitals might have hi-tech fire fighting systems, in some cases it has been found that the people responsible for operating those equipment are inadequately trained. In other cases, problems in sprinklers, pumps and other loopholes have been seen,” Mr Jag Mohan said during a conference on Hospital Fire Safety, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
“The department, therefore, is now emphasising on providing ‘refuge rooms’ for patients. The ‘refuge rooms’ will have arrangements where patients will be able to spend around four to five hours safely in case of a fire in the hospital,” he informed.
Making similar assertions, the state minister for Disaster Management and Civil Defence Department said, “Space constraints usually make it difficult for people to evacuate the place by themselves without any assistance. The department, therefore, is providing training to some of the nurses and staff of hospitals to handle a patient under trauma care” in such emergency situations.