CHENNAI: Can fire audit be made mandatory at T Nagar utilising the services of licensed fire auditors?
It is learnt that the consultant appointed by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has been suggested to examine the possibility of making fire audit compulsory besides developing a system of fire volunteers for all buildings at T Nagar.
Sculpt Design Consultants, who are to prepare the Detailed Project Report on fire safety management at T Nagar, has been asked by the technical committee which has experts from the Directorate of Fire and Rescue Services and IIT-Madras, to involve the stakeholders-residents and shopkeepers- to help do improvements on the busy Ranganathan Street.
It is learnt that the biggest challenge will be to develop possible alternative resources of water for fire-fighting. V Sivaramakrishnan, a fire consultant, told Express that the need of the hour will be to identify streets or areas which are vulnerable to fire and develop a water reservoir by acquiring land in the crowded streets just like having parking slots and utilise them in times of fire.
He was against the possibilities of utilising spaces below ground for storage of water as this comes under the negative section. “It will result in air block like the water pumps in farmhouse wherein you have to pour water in the pump to remove it,” he says.
Sivaramakrishnan, who welcomed the observation of making fire audit compulsory, also suggested the need to impart training to volunteers as well as staff of business establishments to tackle fire.
Preparation of fire safety management plan comes in the wake of a major blaze in Chennai Silks at T Nagar on May 31, 2017. The area is characterised by inaccessibility due to narrow roads, violation in setbacks, FSI and encroachments which affect fire management and emergency response.
As per the survey of 150 multi-storeyed buildings at T Nagar by State Fire and Rescue Department, it was found that in most structures, water storage and provision of fire pump facilities and hydrant systems are not as per requirements of National Building Code. They also do not have automatic sprinkler system.
It is learnt that technical consultants have also been asked to develop a control panel centre which shall be directly monitored by the owners and responsible persons. Sivaramakrishnan says that the centre should come up in each and every vulnerable street so that fire accidents could be prevented