Thiruvananthapuram: Lack of proper fire safety provisions in high rise buildings and inadequately equipped fire department pose serious problems in the state.
The fire department, with its existing equipment, is not capable of fighting fire in buildings with a height of more than 12 meters (four storey and above). It is yet to acquire sky ladders and sky lifts to carry out firefighting operations in high rise buildings.
President of Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry S.N. Raghuchandran Nair says the fire department needs to be equipped to deal with various types of fires involving wood, paper and textiles, flammable liquids like petrol, diesel and oils, acid, gases, plastic and electrical apparatus.
“Water extinguishers were used to put off fire at plastic factory in Manvila whereas the need was to have foam based or powder-based extinguishers, “ he said. “The department needs to be equipped with all types of extinguishers such as water, carbon dioxide and wet chemical extinguishers.”
The fire engines need to be segregated according to their capability of tackling various classes of fire. The fire department had acquired 65 fire engines last year. Besides, small size water mist tenders which were commissioned to tackle fire incidents in congested areas in towns and cities. Such areas are inaccessible for fire tenders.
Meanwhile, more than 70 buildings are awaiting NOC from fire department owing to confusion over the implementation of National Building Code (NBC) provisions. Many buildings got permission under NBC 2011.
“Now when we go to seek NOC they say there is difference in specification and ask us to change specifications as per 2017 NBC. We have told them that we cannot change the goal post all the time. The matter is under consideration of fire force chief and we are hopeful of positive outcome,” said Mr Nair....