Buildings Lacking Fire Safety Measures, BTM Layout
Buildings in BTM Layout do not have enough space around them for firefighting vehicles to move.
Many high-rise buildings in BTM Layout do not follow the Indian standard code of practice for fire safety of buildings. The rule states that buildings above the height of 21 meters should have 7 meters of space to ensure fire engines can go around them in case of a fire. However, many buildings do not follow this rule.
“With more fire cases happening, living in a place that does not follow these rules is concerning. If a fire happens it would be very difficult,” said Mohammed Afzan, a resident of BTM Layout.
There has been a twelve percent increase in the number of fire incidents in Bangalore in 2023 when compared to the previous year.
In Karnataka, buildings above the height of 21 meters are considered to be high-rise buildings. Fire Safety officers say that while most big buildings have the space it is the smaller buildings that do not.
“High-rise buildings need to have enough space around them. Before construction, they need approval from the Director General (D.G.). Most of the buildings get it. It is just the smaller buildings that do not and that is a problem,” H. G. Srinivas, an official from the Jayanagar fire station.
According to an audit conducted in 2015 by the Fire Safety Department, there are over 13,000 buildings in Bangalore that violate fire safety rules. Experts say the reason behind the lack of space is because they were constructed before the rules were stringent.
While there can be no permanent solution for the lack of space around the existing buildings experts suggest some temporary measures that can be taken.
Dr V. Ram, the Managing Director and CEO of TechBridge, a fire safety training company said “If there is a fire in a building and there is no space for fire trucks to go around the building we can take special permission from the buildings around and the fire engine can enter through there and attack the fire in case it is coming through the other side.