ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday introduced a new building code and safety provisions to prevent fire hazards in residential and commercial buildings across the country, keeping in view local requirements and available resources.

The Fire Safety Provisions, 2016 of the Building Code of Pakistan were approved by President Mamnoon Hussain at a ceremony held at the presidency.

A senior official of the presidency told Dawn that the code was formulated on directives of the president in view of an increasing number of fire-related incidents in Karachi. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra was also present on the occasion.

The new building code has been prepared by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and the National Disaster Manage­ment Authority (NDMA). They will be responsible for implementing the new provisions and ensuring the installation of fire prevention and control systems in all high-rise residential and commercial buildings in the country.

Prior to the new provisions, high-rise residential and commercial buildings were constructed according to international standards for fire safety. This was the first time that cost-effective provisions tailored in view of the local environment and its requirements had been introduced, the official said. “Locally manufactured equipment will be used in [manufacturing] buildings under the new code and their maintenance will be far easier than that of imported materials.”

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2017

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