A safety audit carried out by the Ernakulam wing of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services has found that 20 godowns in Aluva found stocking a variety of products fail to adhere to fire safety norms.
The inspection forms part of the latest directive issued by A. Hemachandran, Director General, State Fire and Rescue Services, that recommended giving priority to ascertaining the fire preparedness in godowns across the State. The direction was given following a major fire that broke out in the commercial hub near East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram last week.
The 20 godowns in Aluva that failed the fire safety test will be issued notices soon. Aluva municipality authorities will be alerted on the lack of fire safety systems at the godowns.
“We found that none of the 20 godowns conformed to all fire safety requirements. The godowns were storing electronic items and several other types of goods. The inspection found that a large godown storing paint products lacked even basic fire safety equipment,” said District Fire Officer Gojy J.S.
The Fire Department officials will submit a detailed report on the lapses detected in the godowns to the District Collector. They will seek immediate measures to step up firefighting systems as even a mere spark can invite large-scale destruction.
The godowns lacked adequate fire extinguishers, sprinklers and fire exits. The buildings were also found not having adequate setback area. The godowns did not have any provision for water storage exclusively for firefighting. Inspections by Fire Department officials revealed that the godowns did not have proper space, ventilators and shutters.
As per the National Building Code of India (NBCI) rules, godowns should have fire extinguishers, hose reel, yard hydrant, automatic sprinkler system, automatic detection and alarming, fire pumps and underground and overhead water tanks. The godowns also lacked no-objection certificate from the Fire Department.
Mr. Gojy said inspections would be carried out in other godowns and warehouses across Ernakulam district in the coming days.