Home Knowledge The tallest city in India Need A Proper Fire Evacuation System In Monsoon

The tallest city in India Need A Proper Fire Evacuation System In Monsoon

by Dr. Vikram Mehta (MD of SPARTAN Fire Evacuation Lift (fondly known as the Fire Evacuation Man of Maharashtra))
Jul 21, 2023
The tallest city in India Need A Proper Fire Evacuation System In Monsoon, Knowledge, KonexioNetwork.com

Mumbai ranks 17th worldwide and 14th in Asia for tall buildings, with 100 buildings over 150m in height. The city dominates the Indian skyline with 77% of tall buildings. A report by CBRE South Asia also found that 89% of tall buildings in India are residential, compared to 6% for office use. The numbers clearly show Mumbai’s expeditious growth post-COVID-19 Pandemic. This infrastructural growth is remarkable, but it also needs attention to its Fire prevention and evacuation preparedness. As the monsoon has arrived, it brings worries for Mumbai’s Tall growth of fire emergencies due to electrical short circuits, thunderstorms, water logging, and for many other reasons. 

The data has witnessed over 26,000 fire incidences in the last five years. Among many reasons short – circuits have always posed higher fire risks. According to Mumbai Fire Brigade, about 70% of fire incidents usually occur due to electrical short–circuits. Last year, on 19th June 2022, a fire broke out on the 14th floor of a tall residential building in a western suburb of Borivali that needed seven fire engines and eight jumbo tankers to douse the fire. Fortunately, 11 people were rescued, according to a Fire Control Room Official. This incident highlights the need to have adequate Fire Evacuation Systems in place in high–rise buildings for faster and safer evacuation.

According to data received from the BMC, 5,441 incidents of building and tree collapse were reported in the city from 2013 to 2022. These resulted in the deaths of 367 people, while 1,135 were injured in the incidents. Although this year, BMC has trained 1,000 community volunteers in disaster prevention, mitigation, and management to be roped in for rescue operations during this monsoon. But, we also need such trained volunteers for evacuation and to create awareness of the need for Fire Evacuation Lifts in high-rise buildings.

It is of utmost importance for high–rises and older buildings in the city to assess and set up adequate Fire Evacuation Lifts to deal with distress calls. In a coastal city like Mumbai, if a fire breaks out in any building amid heavy rains, the issues such as waterlogging and traffic congestion will worsen the firefighting and rescue operations as the fire brigade officials struggle to reach the destination in time. There is also a risk of short-circuits due to heavy rains, causing the smog to spread in seconds, considering the wind velocity of a coastal city. During such fire emergencies, the visibility almost becomes zero, which creates constraints on the movement of Firefighters in rescuing the people. These are the practical challenges that make it difficult for the residents and firefighters to the Faster and Safer Evacuation process.

As compared to other Fire Evacuations systems, a Fire Evacuation Lift provides a much better option and can be used seamlessly for evacuating people stranded inside the building. It helps the firefighters reach higher floors faster and evacuate around 12-15 people in three minutes at one time. Such lifts always prove to be a boon, as these are designed with advanced technologies like IoT, a trap door for emergency exit, a cabin up of non-combustible material, side panels with ceramic wool with a two–hour fire rating, etc., Considering the monsoon, it just becomes the priority.

The Maharashtra Energy Department circular dated 20th July 2022, has made it mandatory for high-rise buildings having heights of 70 meters and above to install a Fire Evacuation Lift. Many responsible builders have installed the Fire Evacuation Lift, but not many high–rises are seen to be complying with it when it is made for the safety of people and the property.