BMC passes policy to make fire-evacuation lifts a must in buildings taller than 22 floors
The fire-evacuation lift must have the capacity to carry 8-15 people. In case of an emergency, the fire lift must come to a halt at the podium for safe evacuation of residentsmumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:41 IST
In the aftermath of recent fires in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has passed a policy making it compulsory for buildings that are taller than 70m (around 22 floors) to have a fire-resistant evacuation lift.
Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta sanctioned the policy submitted by the fire brigade last week. In his remarks, Mehta said the mandate must be for ‘fire-evacuation lift and other such appliances’ to avoid any monopoly by manufacturers.
All upcoming buildings in the city will have to install the lift, without which the fire brigade will not issue a no-objection certificate to the building. The mandate, however, cannot be forced on current buildings, officials said. Senior civic officials also said the mandate will be included in the Development Control Rules (DCR) 2034. The Development Plan (DP) 2034 for the city is expected to be released next month.
The fire-evacuation lift must have the capacity to carry 8-15 people. In case of an emergency, the fire lift must come to a halt at the podium for safe evacuation of residents. All lifts must have a two-way communication system. The lifts must be made of the non-combustible material - the electric cables must be fire-retardant and the doors should withstand fire for a minimum of two hours. The lift must also have back-up power and emergency switch that can be operated by the fire brigade personnel.
A senior fire official said, “We had meetings with stakeholders in December, after which we framed the policy with the regulations and submitted it to the commissioner. Current buildings must also try to incorporate it for safety sake.”
The city has witnessed several incidents where residents have died of suffocation owing to using the regular lifts during a fire. Currently, the brigade has a 90-meter snorkel which can reach up to 30 floors. However, senior fire officials say that the disaster is majorly averted if all the fixed fire-fighting system of the building is in place. This lift, officials said, can also be used regularly by residents which will make sure that it is also well-maintained.