Firefighting in the city is expected to reach international standards

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Department of Energy has recently issued a notice specifying international standards for the installation of fire escape lifts in buildings 70 meters and above (22 floors) in height. The notice is effective retroactively from July 20, 2022.

An official from Maharashtra’s energy department, Uday Dambe, said international standards and procurement specifications for the installation of fire escape lifts had been incorporated by his department.

He said an international committee led by Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Taiwan and Chicago had specified how to install fire escape lifts and other aspects, and these had been adopted. .

In fact, such fire escape lifts have already been in place in several countries since 2004, Dambe said. The purpose of issuing a notice was primarily to bring it under the sway of regulation, he added.

The Mumbai Fire Department had, in 2018, issued a notification for the provision of a “firefighter evacuation lift” in buildings over 70 meters. However, the use of terms such as “firefighters’ evacuation lift” in the notification diluted the definition of “elevator”.

In the start-up certificate (CC) required by developers to start a project, words such as “mechanized ascent or descent device”, “controlled descent device” and “external evacuation system” were used, leaving developers the latitude not to obtain the necessary authorizations, licenses and valid certification from the Department of Energy. They could just get a no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire chief, the official said.

A developer must obtain authorization for elevators commonly installed in buildings and must submit an application online. It is only after inspection by the engineer that certification is given within 30 days. This was not the case in the 2018 notification.

“Now, with the advisory in place, this same procedure will now apply for the installation of fire evacuation lifts,” the official informed.

The notice states that several fire escape lifts have been installed in towers of 70 meters and above in the city of Mumbai and its suburbs.

However, these installations proved to be unsafe, not complying with design standards, construction and operating procedures and without having received the necessary approvals from the competent authorities concerned, thus triggering an alert and requiring an intervention in the installation of fire escape lifts currently and forcing them as part of a regulatory environment.

Mumbai Fire Chief Hemant Parab said developers should now have fire escape lifts certified by the relevant authority.

“Only after that will the fire NOCs be given. If a developer fails to do so, the building occupancy certificate (OC) authorization will also be affected, eventually,” he said. he informed.

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