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In Pune less than 10% of buildings have certified firefighting system

As per the department's estimates, around 30,000 properties across PMC limits, including 34 merged areas, are liable for the fire safety preparedness audits. But annually, only around 800 to 1,000 certificates are submitted to the department.

Over 90% of housing societies and other commercial properties across the civic limits are functioning without a certified firefighting system.

These properties are susceptible to fire accidents due to poorly maintained fire extinguishers and a lack of fire safety preparedness.

As per the department’s estimates, around 30,000 properties across PMC limits, including 34 merged areas, are liable for the fire safety preparedness audits. But annually, only around 800 to 1,000 certificates are submitted to the department.

The fire brigade department said it has initiated a drive to check the fire safety preparedness of properties ahead of peak summer as the maximum number of fire incidents are reported during this period. The probability of short-circuit also increases during this period as the demand for electricity goes up.

“The certificate is must for all these properties, not only as a formality, but also as an important life saving measure. Penal action will be taken against the owners of these properties,” said Devendra Potphode, chief fire officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Owners and occupiers of these properties will have to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 or face a jail term of six months, or both, if they fail to provide a certificate from licensed auditors that the system at their premises is foolproof and that they have maintained the firefighting systems.

In case of housing societies, the management committee will have to shoulder the responsibility of fire safety while in the case of individual properties, the owners are held responsible.

“More awareness is needed about the importance of this preparedness. Housing societies should not wake up only after a mishap takes place. They must be prepared to avoid any such fire accident,” said Suhas Patwardhan of the Pune District Cooperative Housing Federation.

“Industries have more awareness about fire safety compared to housing societies. Mouth-to-mouth publicity and reaching out to managements of housing societies is the need of hour,” said Sunil Galewad, a fire safety auditor.

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