The Fire Prevention Wing of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has recommended derecognising schools that have failed to install fire safety measures in their buildings.
After the inspection of 1,860 schools under GHMC limits, 1,100 were found lacking fire-fighti-ng equipment or such sa-fety measure. The rem-aining 750 have obtained no-objection certificates.
“But, since we do not have the power to seal school buildings for lacking safety systems, we have recommended derecognising these schools,” said GHMC Additional Director (FPW) C. Lakshmi Prasad.
The FPW had issued notices to schools, asking them to comply with fire-safety norms. The curre-nt recommendation was made after several school managements failed to respond to repeated reminders sent to the non-compliant schools.
Rules stipulate that schools have to install fire-extinguishers, alarms and an additional staircase for escape (if the school is or is located in a multi-storeyed building), besides ensuring the installation of the hose-reel and fire pumps. Schools with cellars should also have sprinkler systems.
However, a majority of schools managements chose to look the other way, putting the lives of children at risk, Mr. Prasad said.
During inspections, it was found that most managements were operating schools in commercial buildings having a single staircase. This would have posed a major problem if the students were to be evacuated following a fire, officials said.
Plans have also been drawn up to regularly conduct drills in schools in coordination with the nearest fire station officials.
“This initiative will certainly help us in creating awareness among the teaching staff and students,” they added.