Fire safety in an apartment building
Fire safety measures are a must in all buildings to prevent and protect your property and lives. Fire can lead to catastrophe if buildings are not equipped with basic fire safety arrangements. Every apartment in India has to follow certain guidelines in terms of design and construction to ensure safety and welfare of its residents.
The National Building Code (NBC) is a document which contains all the requirements a building should have in its design. This document has been violated by many architects because of poor administration by the authorities. This document was regulated in the year 2005, to suit the evolution of real estate in India.
Fire safety is a part of the National Building Code document which states that any building which has more than three floors has to acquire a certificate of approval from the Director of Fire Force or an officer authorized by the Fire Force before the building is built.
If you are planning to buy an apartment in Chennai or in any of the metros, it is advisable to check if the building is built with the NBC guidelines. If the building has failed to satisfy the NBC guidelines or has violated any of the important norms, then it might lead to paying a heavy penalty, cancellation of the permit or in some cases, demolition of the building structure.
Living in an apartment in close proximity also increases the risk associated with fire. Some of the basic fire safety guidelines for apartments are
1. Fire exit:
Every building should have an external staircase which will directly be connected to the ground. The fire escape should be built with fire-proof/ non-combustible material and should be separate from the main entrance or staircase.
2. Fire extinguisher:
Fire extinguisher is a must for all the building.
3. Fire Alarm system: All residential building above 24 meters in height has to be equipped with fire alarm system in each floor.
4. Fire Drills: Fire drills help in understanding the evacuation process in case of fire. This must be done only in the presence of a qualified fire officer and trained staff.
5. Down comer: A down comer pipe is connected directly with the water tank on the terrace of the building. This is a arrangements made within a building.
6. Dry Riser: this vertical pipe is intended to distribute firefighting water to each floor of the apartment in case of fire.