If your building or nearby mall has not been following the fire safety norms, it is in trouble.
The Mumbai fire brigade department has issued notices to 258 high-rises and 10 malls for not complying with the norms.
If these high-rises and malls do not fix the problem within 120 days as per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, which was enforced in March 2010, the fire department will forward the complaints to the municipal corporation’s legal department.
The legal department will decide the next course of action — issue another notice, cut off power and water supply, levy penalty or send the defaulter to jail.
There are around 6,600 high-rises —buildings more than 24 metres in height or seven-storey tall — in the city of which 2,600 are in the island city and 4,000 in the suburbs.
Of the total 258 high-rises that have flouted fire safety norms, 121 are in the western suburbs, 78 in the island city and 59 in the eastern suburbs.
The fire department has served notices to 10 malls and shopping complexes — five in the island city, two in the western suburbs and three in the eastern suburbs. These malls were selected randomly for inspection. There are more than 300 malls in the city, which will be inspected strictly by the fire brigade personnel.
"This [inspection] is a regular practice now. It is mandatory that an officer inspect at least two high-rises in a week and submit the report," said Uday Tatkare, chief fire officer. He clarified that the department has enough staff for the job.
According to the rules, all developers have to follow special fire safety provisions for high-rises. If a developer submits a construction proposal to seek the fire brigade's no-objection certificate, the rule states that it should either be passed or rejected within eight days. Moreover, inspections will be carried out on high-rises every six months by a competent agency shortlisted by the municipal corporation.
Last year, the fire department has found out minor irregularities in 55 malls, while 20 malls had breached serious norms like drastic changes in the original plan and usage of the building.
"We are more stringent regarding malls, especially those with basements, since we lost one of our officers while fighting the blaze at Goyel shopping centre located opposite Borivli station last year," said a senior fire officer on the condition of anonymity.
On February 19, 2010, a major fire broke out in Goyel Shopping Centre. Assistant fire officer Pradeep Jhagde, died while fighting the blaze, and two other officers were injured.