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So many buildings, so little fire safety

September 15, 2012

RAWALPINDI, Sept 15: District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar has directed Rawal and Potohar Town Municipal administrations, Rescue 1122, Civil Defence and Industry and Enterprises to prepare a detailed report on such buildings and factories which had not adopted building bylaws in their jurisdictions within three days.

A senior official told Dawn that after the Bund Road, Karachi Tragedy, DCO sought a detailed report of factories and high-rise buildings in the district, which had not adopted building bylaws.

He said that the concerned departments had been asked to conduct a survey of such buildings in their jurisdiction, which have not adopted building laws.

He said that according to the building laws it was mandatory for every multi-storey building and factory as well as business outlets to have fire fighting arrangements and fire escapes to avoid any untoward situation.

He said that both TMAs have been directed to fully implement the building laws and should notice before approving the building plans that it had a fire escape.

He said that it was also directed to issue notices to such building owners.

According to building bylaws, essential safety measures are basically required in commercial, industrial and public buildings to ensure the safety of occupants in the event of a fire or emergency.

The layout plan of commercial buildings must have exit doors, fire hydrants, fire-isolated stairs, emergency lifts, mechanical ventilation and a sprinkler system, smoke alarms, a safety management system and a fire control centre.

There are a number of small industries located in Raja Bazaar, Ghazni Road, Dhoke Dalal, Jamia Masjid Road, Banni Chowk, Dhoke Ratta, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Mangtal, Hazara Colony, Pirwadhai, Gunjmandi, Gowalmandi, City Saddar Road, Adiala Road, Saddar Bazaar, Westridge and adjoining areas that failed to adopt any fire safety measures.

These buildings are located in narrow streets and could be dangerous if they did not adopt building bylaws in future.

When contacted, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar said that he asked the concerned departments to conduct a survey and submit their reports within three days.

He said that the CDGR would not allow anyone in the district to endanger the lives of people and employees working in the factories.

He said that he directed the concerned authorities to conduct the survey three months back but they failed to do so.

“I will take departmental action against those officials who fail to implement fire safety measures in buildings and industries,” he said.