Commercial premises require to adopt fire prevention measures

Shimla: The state government has issued a notification to the owners or occupiers of premises likely to cause risk of fire to take precautions against the outbreak of fire.

The State Fire Services Department is launching a drive throughout the state these days in order to ensure public safety from fire hazard and in the course of time, a need was felt to strengthen the legal framework in the State. After studying the legislations in vogue in other states in the country and detailed deliberations with all stakeholders, a proposal was submitted to the state government to notify owners or occupiers of premises to take precautions against the outbreak of fire.

As per the notification, the buildings more than 15 metres in height, Pandals with seating capacity of more than 500 persons, hotels and guest houses having more than 12 meters height, all education buildings, institutional buildings with more than 9 meters height, all assembly buildings, business buildings more than 15 meters in height, commercial buildings with more than 9 meters height, industrial and storage building with covered areas of more than 250 meters, all hazardous buildings having more than 100 square meter area, underground structures, commercial kitchens, slum areas, hostels and coaching centers and all projects registered under RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Act) will specifically require to adopt fire prevention measures in their premises.

The fire prevention measures will include access to building, number and type of exits, first aid, fire fighting and detection appliances and equipment, provision of water storage, hydrants and pumping, smoke management, escape plan etc.

It is envisaged that with this notification, the compliance of fire prevention norms will increase having a direct bearing on the number of fire incidents which are expected to reduce drastically in the state, eventually reducing fatalities, injuries and loss of property worth crores of rupees every year on account of fire accidents.

Furthermore, comprehensive proposal to get the Himachal Pradesh Fire Rules approved and notified is also under consideration and is likely to be notified in the near future by the government. This will formalize the norms and standards of fire prevention measures for various types of occupancies so that the life and property of the public can be safeguarded better.

According to the Chief Fire Officer, the Fire department has also launched a fire prevention drive in all the districts of the State since the month of June through its 60 fire stations and posts spread across the state. So far, 222 fire audits of important buildings both government and private have been conducted. The shortcomings and advise with regard to fire prevention has been communicated to all concerned for ensuring adequate fire safety measures.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.