What are Fire Safety audits?
An effective tool to asses fire safety standards of a building are Fire Safety Audits (FSA), which help in measuring the compliance of a building s fire safety norms against the conduct set by National Building Code of India. FSA predominantly measures both the standards on three key parameters fire prevention, fire protection and life safety measures. Not just that, FSAs significantly help in identifying areas of improvement and evolve into action plans. A comprehensive fire safety audit should cover a plethora of aspects and review inherent fire hazard associated with everyday activities in a building. This can be an effective building maintenance policy that becomes an essential feature for fire prevention. One of the key aspects of Fire Safety audits is to create awareness among occupants and owners on fire safety features of the building and the maintenance of the same in accordance with the legislative requirements.
So how can residents and buyer be more aware of firefighting systems while purchasing a home?
One of the key offering by builders while building homes is to integrate fire-fighting systems in order to create a platform which will communicate the incident in real time. Besides this, a basic thumb rule for builders is to follow the dedicated safety norms put in place for special buildings (Low rise) and high-rise buildings (Multistoried buildings).
For Special buildings, builders have to consider providing at least basic firefighting systems like providing Fire extinguisher in common areas like all floor staircase and in electrical rooms. Smoke detectors in lift lobby, lift room and electrical room. Sufficient Sump storage has to be provided to mitigate fire during emergency. In high-rise building, Snorkel driveways must be free without any car parked or obstruction so that access to the building will be easy during emergency. During construction also fire general safety precautions has to be followed like identifying people most at risk and to be mitigated. It is always important to avoid covering of balcony in high-rise buildings.
Key challenges in Fire Safety integration
Water availability if one of persistent road blocks in integrating a fully functioning fire-fighting system. The scarce and unreliable availability of water in parts of the city will continue to be a threat for fire safety integration. Keeping this in mind, residents and builders have to build a dedicated sump of water for fire-fighting purposes. Another important challenge in fire protection system is maintenance. Some systems are difficult and intricate to maintain. Ignoring its testing and maintenance for an extended time questions the functionality of the product and is a threat to the human lives. If installing is important then maintaining is the key to systems effectiveness.
Fire protection should be considered as an integrated approach and the system thus designed for new building or installed, as part of renovation must be analyzed for its specific objectives. Looking beyond the basic functionalities of the system and analyzing it in conjunction with other components of the building, as a total package is a sign of well-developed and well-planned fire safety mechanism.