Visakhapatnam

Hospitals violating fire safety norms to face the heat

Notices served on them for failing to comply with guidelines, says official

As many as 250 hospitals in the State do not comply with the fire safety norms. These include 16 hospitals in Visakhapatnam city. The Fire Services Department has already issued legal notices to them, Director General, AP State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department (APSDR & FSD) K. Satyanarayana has said.

He was here to participate at the inaugural of a two-day seminar on “Hospital fire and safety system standards, implementation and evacuation measures in case of exigency” on Saturday.

“The respondents have to reply within a month, failing which we (FSD) will initiate further proceedings against them, and finally seek prosecution through the court. All the 250 hospitals are located in high-rise buildings and have not implemented the fire safety regulations,” Mr. Satyanarayana told The Hindu on the sidelines of the seminar.

“Hospitals and nursing homes, located in buildings, which are 6 metres (Ground + 1 floor), and a plot area of 500 sq. m. or less are exempted from fire safety regulations. However, we are advising them to install basic safety equipment like fire extinguishers.”

Training

When his attention was brought to the lack of maintenance and training of staff in the operation of fire safety equipment, the Director General said: “We have made it mandatory for non-exempted hospitals and other institutions to have at least two or three trained persons, who could handle the safety equipment in an emergency.”

Diploma course

A Civil Defence and Fire Training Institute has been set up in Vijayawada to offer 3-month diploma course to security guards to enable them handle fire safety equipment.

Hydraulic platforms

This year, the department has decided to procure two hydraulic platforms (fire tenders) to extinguish fires in high rise buildings.

A hydraulic platform, which can reach up to 90 m, will be purchased at a cost of ₹15 crore, for use in the capital region.

It could take about a year’s time for its procurement.

The second one, which can reach up to 54 m, would be based in Tirupati and would be procured in three months. Visakhapatnam city already has a 54 m hydraulic platform, Mr. Satyanarayana said.

“Our personnel have been trained in rescue of drowning victims and children trapped in open bore wells. The staff of our Vizianagaram unit have innovated a ‘victim location camera’ to save borewell victims,” he said

Staff of other units has developed rope ladders and smoke exhaust fans,” Mr. Satyanarayana added.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:59:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/hospitals-violating-fire-safety-norms-to-face-the-heat/article24485024.ece

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