The BMC will soon empanel fire and life safety auditors to carry out fire safety audits in residential buildings that are up to 32m in height or less than 10 storeys.
“As part of its ease-of-doing business initiative, the BMC has decided to accord fire and life safety no-objection certificates to residential buildings having height up to 32m through fire and life safety auditors to speed up building construction approvals in a more transparent manner,” said a senior civic official. The BMC has invited applications seeking qualified personnel for the audit job.
It’s good that BMC is appointing auditors to carry out fire safety audits. This will ensure faster clearances. But in the past, there have been several occasions where third-party fire compliance agencies have failed to carry out checks and maintain fire-fighting equipment. The BMC must supervise work of auditors and take penal action if needed.
“At the time of construction, the auditor, along with the fire safety consultant and architect, will ensure compliance of the provisions of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, and other building bye-laws,” an official said.
“The auditor will issue a fire safety compliance certificate in a prescribed format along with a schematic drawing showing various safety measures provided as per the codified fire safety requirements.”
The auditor will also test all active measures related to fire and life safety provided in the building and upload photographs or videos of the inspection and testing of fire-fighting installations and equipment with the date and time stamp, along with the compliance certificate, through the architect.
Under the Act, it is the responsibility of the property owner or the cooperative housing society to follow fire safety nor-ms and submit an audit report, signed by a licensed fire expert, every six months certifying compliance to the chief fire officer. If there is no owner or society, the occupants will have to do it. In recent fires, the fire brigade found that most had failed to submit the audit report or maintain fire safety equipment.