NAVI MUMBAI: Residential societies are often reluctant to get the fire safety audit done. This was part of the response given by the NMMC fire brigade to an RTI query about the reason behind frequent incidents of fire.
Concerned about the repeated instances of fire outbreaks in high-rises, Vashi resident Ajay Marathe sought information through RTI on the number of high-rises within sectors 3 and 4 that have conducted the fire safety audits.
According to the response given on February 25, barring one high-rise used by a private hospital, no other building within the two sectors has conducted the audit.
“There are four multi-storey building located in the two sectors. As per the response, three high-rises, that includes my own residential society, have not submitted any certificate to the department after running a safety audit,” said Marathe.
Even a well-known convent school within the area is guilty of not having conducted a fire safety audit, thereby risking the lives of the students in event of a fire outbreak, said the Vashi resident.
Many local residents have expressed concern about safety norms after the recent fire at NRI complex, Kharghar residential complex and a nationalised bank in Vashi.
Chemical engineer by profession, Marathe observed that the extent of damage caused by fire could be curtailed if there was a sound alarm system for dousing the fire.
“Based on the RTI, authorities can take corrective measures and persuade the societies to act. If necessary changes are not introduced within a month’s time, then I will pursue the matter with the higher authorities,” he said.
As per rules, it is the duty of the housing societies to conduct audit of their fire safety system twice a year and obtain the mandatory B-form certificate. “But only a few take the initiative,” said an official from the fire department.more..