Mumbai, India’s financial capital and the heart of its commerce industry, has been shaken repeatedly by one fire after another at regular intervals.
In October 2021, a fire broke out in One Avighna Park – one of the city’s most prestigious high-rise residential towers located in the Worli area – leaving one person dead. This was repeated a couple of months later by another fire in the same building.
More recently we have again had 2 fires in Breach Candy Apartment within a space of a couple of weeks!
These incidents has raised thousands of nagging questions about the state of building safety standards. The problem is real and it affects us all:
1. Is Mumbai doing enough to ensure its citizens’ lives are safe when they live or work inside these towering structures?
2. Are builders and Society Managing Committees cutting corners to maximize profits without caring about basic security measures?
Join us as we take an in-depth look at what led to these catastrophes and explore ways forward toward safer living spaces for millions across Mumbai!
We need to treat every fire, however small as a wake up call. However we seem to be lost in slumber and refuse to take cognisance of the danger that we facing!!
The city’s high-rises are growing rapidly, but its fire safety infrastructure has not kept pace. Many of Mumbai’s buildings do not have adequate sprinkler systems and other fire fighting systems. Some do not even have adequate fire exits.
In addition the city’s firefighters are woefully under-staffed and lack basic training and equipment to deal with large fires like the one at One Avighna Park.
If Mumbai is going to continue to grow as a city, it must invest in its fire safety infrastructure. Building owners and occupiers must ensure that their properties are up to code and have adequate fire fighting systems which are kept in good working condition at all times. And the Municipal Corporation must provide adequate manpower and resources to Mumbai Fire Brigade to keep the residents safe.
Causes of the Fire and Lack of Fire Safety Measures
The leading causes of fires are
1. Short circuit
2. Gas Leakage
3. Human Error
It is imperative that regular checks of the electrical wiring thru Electrical audits (every two years as mandated in the National Building Code) is conducted.
Further all the gas components, especially the rubber tubes, LPG gas cylinder, regulator and the hot plate are maintained regularly as per the recommendations of the Gas company.
And finally the building should be provided and maintained with adequate fire fighting system, as per the current codes and standards (and not as per the 20 year old antiquated building laws under which most South Mumbai Highrises are governed).
Impact of the Fire on the Community
The impact of the fire on the affected families is devastating.
Many people lose their lives, loved ones, homes and all of their belongings.
Some who get burn or smoke inhalation injuries suffer extreme pain and discomfort for a very very long time with very high cost of hospitalisation and treatment.
It is important to realize how important it is to have safe buildings and to follow safety procedures.
Short-Term Solutions for Building Safety in Mumbai
1. in the wake of the tragic avighna park and Breachcandy Apartment fires, Mumbai’s building safety is under scrutiny.
2. there are a number of short-term solutions that can be implemented to improve building safety in Mumbai.
3. some of these solutions include better enforcement of existing regulations, additional training for firefighters, and improved communication between buildings and emergency services.
4. while these solutions will not completely eliminate the risk of fire in Mumbai, they will help to make the city safer for residents and visitors alike.
Long-Term Actions Taken by Government to Ensure Building Safety
In the wake of the repeated fires at One Avighna Park and Breachcandy Apartments, the government has pledged to take steps to ensure the safety of all buildings in the city.
It is clear that there are many buildings in Mumbai that do not meet basic safety standards. The government has therefore announced a number of measures that will be taken in the short and long term to improve building safety in Mumbai.
In the short term, all high-rise buildings in Mumbai will be inspected for compliance with fire safety norms. All buildings found to be non-compliant will be immediately ordered to rectify the deficiencies. The government has also decided to increase surveillance at all construction sites in Mumbai, in order to ensure that builders are following all safety regulations.
In the long term, the government has committed to creating a comprehensive database of all buildings in Mumbai, which will include information on their compliance with safety norms. The government will also set up a dedicated team of inspectors who will regularly check all buildings for compliance with safety standards.
Call to Action for Property Owners / Managing Committees
It is high time that property owners take stock of the situation and ensure that their buildings are safe and compliant with all statutory norms. Fire safety should be given top priority, and all measures should be taken to ensure that such incidents are prevented in the future.
Maharashtra Fire Safety Act mandates that all buildings must have a valid fire safety certificate in ‘Form B’ issued from a Licenced Agency approved by Maharashtra Fir Services. However, a recent report by BBC found that only 18% of buildings in Mumbai have a valid fire safety certificate. This is an alarming statistic and one which needs to be addressed urgently.
Elixir Engineering is one of the leading Licenced Agency and fire fighting system specialist in Mumbai and Pune. We have been providing quality services to our clients for the past many years. We are specialized in designing, installing, testing, and commissioning firefighting systems.
We are a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers who are dedicated to providing the best possible services to our clients. We use the latest technology and equipment to ensure that our services are of the highest quality.
We have a wide range of satisfied clients who have benefited from our services. We offer customized solutions to meet the specific needs of our clients. We believe in providing quality services at competitive prices.