Compulsory fire audits for all markets, highrises, malls: West Bengal Govt

The West Bengal Fire department is making fire audit compulsory for high-rises, shopping malls, market complexes and business establishments of similar nature once in a year. Malls and marketplaces might also lose their right to do business if they do not conduct the audit every year.

“All the high-rise buildings, malls and marketplaces need to do fire audit every year else their business license will be cancelled. I shall go through the present act and if there is no provision, then the government will bring in a new act for the same,” state Fire minister Firhad Hakim said in the state Assembly.

“A number of high-rises, shopping malls and the like have in-built firefighting system. They will have to conduct fire drills every three months and get the clearance certificate from the Corporation or the local civic bodies. All the fire safety equipment will have to be functional,” he reiterated.

“There have been 4,629 incidents of fire in the state till date this year. Recently, a team went to Paris for training. We will be imparting specialised training to our firefighters so that they can work more effectively to control the flames.”

In a stride towards transparency in the issuance of fire certificates, the minister said that the entire system will become online and people will get their certificates within one month. “Even if it is rejected, the Fire department will provide clarification online so that people can apply in a proper manner. There will be a map at the entrance of a mall or marketplace detailing out the source of the water, exit route and other important information so that the firefighters can get a clear idea of the complex or area,” he added. The minister also announced that all the fire stations will be connected through a GPS system so that if there is any distress call at 101, the nearest fire station can respond immediately.