Builders asked to seek nod before installation of fire evacuation lifts in high rises

With many real estate developers found to be installing inferior quality fire evacuation lifts in high rise buildings, merely to comply with the norms, the Maharashtra Government has issued an advisory for developers to mandatorily obtain permission for erection and licence for operation of fire evacuation lifts in the State.

The advisory, issued in consultation with officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, is for buildings of 70 metres and above.

“Though several fire evacuation lifts have been installed in Mumbai and suburbs till date, the installations are found to be very unsafe, not conforming to standards of design construction and operational procedures without getting necessary approvals from the competent authorities concerned, thus raising an alarm to intervene in the ongoing fire evacuation lift installations and forcing them into regulatory environment,” D.J. Khonde, Chief Electrical Inspector, Industries, Energy and Labour Department, said in a circular.

The circular will be effective immediately from the date of issue for upcoming fire evacuation lift installations and will have retrospective effect. “The responsible entity/builder/developer/architect must submit the building plan with clear demarcation with respect to strategic location of fire evacuation lift along with specific dimensions and construction of shaft and technical specification confirming to the lift inspector at the time of permission for erection of the lift,” the circular said.

Yashodhan Tere, design head, Wadhwa Group of developers said, “A robust firefighting system is a crucial aspect of a building safety plan. Apart from just following the norms laid down by civic bodies for approvals, developers should add value by selecting fire-resistant materials for construction and should lay out proper fire evacuation equipment which will minimise the risk in case of fire emergency.”

Vikram Mehta, MD, Spartan Engineering Industries Private Ltd., which specialises in this field said, “Once implemented, the circular will usher in a new era of fire-fighting and evacuation in Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra.”

He said when it comes to fire evacuation safety there needs to be a complete shift in mindset, especially among developers.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2022 9:15:33 pm |