Lapses in fire safety mechanisms in hospitals
The fire-safety audit initiated by the State Fire and Rescue Services Department in Ernakulam district is likely to be completed in two weeks.
The first phase of the survey conducted by the Ernakulam Divisional Office of the Department had found shocking lapses in fire safety mechanism in majority of the government and private hospitals across the district. The fire audit was part of a directive by the State government in the wake of the devastating fire at the AMRI hospital in Kolkata in December last year. Senior officials pointed out that the safety audit, which could not progress as expected owing to other departmental work at the end of the financial year, will resume in a few days. “We would be able to complete the audit in two weeks,” an official said.
Fire and Rescue Services personnel, who were part of the first phase of the audit, admitted that majority of the hospitals lacked even basic fire fighting equipment. Fire pumps have stopped working in several hospitals.
The managements had also failed to carry out regular mock drills to face an emergency. Besides hospitals, the audit will be also held in educational institutions, hotels and apartment buildings in the district.
The Department will issue notices to hospitals found not complying with the fire safety standards based on the findings of the fire-safety audit report. Hospitals will be given time to implement the measures within a stipulated period. Stringent action will be taken against hospitals that fail to implement a proper fire safety mechanism. Hospitals will be asked to review fire safety and revamp the existing infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the Divisional Office of the Fire and Rescue Services Department here said that it has issued a notice to the owners of a private fitness centre at KPCC junction to ensure proper ventilation in the building. Heavy black smoke had billowed out from the centre following a short-circuit on Monday night.