Fire Evacuation a major concern, feel fire experts as the Fire Service Week nears

Dr Vikram Mehta, Managing Director of Spartan Engineering Industries

Mumbai, April 2022: In the recent past, Mumbai and other megacities have witnessed many fire incidents. Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) recently stated the financial capital has witnessed more than 26,000 fire incidents in the past five years. The report also specifies that 324 fires were reported in the city’s high-rises alone, between January 2020 and October 2021 period. In all such incidents, the number of casualties and loss of lives are significant for the growing demand by the fire expert to have fire evacuation infrastructure. In a city like Mumbai, it is necessary to have the right combating tool for timely evacuation. As the Fire service day is nearing, the fire experts have highlighted the need of implementing the provision of the Fire Evacuation Lift made by the fire brigade and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation BMC in 2018.

Fire experts point out the city’s unique challenges during fire accidents; including factors like evacuation time, distance, access to fire department, fire control, and residents traffic management. Take the recent case of the fire accident in Mumbai’s high-rise buildings; it was evident that there was an urgent need for alternate escape paths. To prevent such fire explosions in the future, a customized fire evacuation lift could be an answer to the alternative escape path for a timely and safer evacuation system in the buildings.

After many incidents of fire in the recent past in Mumbai, fire experts see the need of the hour is timely evacuation to save the firefighters and lives of people. High-Rise building Evacuation could be the theme of Fire Service Week 2022. The fire experts further insisted that the only motto of this Fire Service Week could be high-rise evacuation and it also needs to be backed up by training and educating the residents of a high-rise about the protocols that need to be followed during a crisis caused by fire. Our Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation BMC and Mumbai Fire Brigade department have already made it mandatory in 2018 to have a provision of a Fire Evacuation Lift for all the buildings with a height above 70 meters (around 22 floors). What we need right now, is awareness and implementation of those provisions for the timely evacuation of people.

Dr Vikram Mehta, Managing Director of Spartan Engineering Industries said, “Time is of the essence when fighting fires. Evacuation time is critical when a fire incident happens in high-rise buildings as a small flame can turn into a blazing fire in incidents. We take the Fire Service Week to tribute those brave firefighters who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty during the fire and massive explosion at Mumbai dockyard. The best way to commemorate this day is to make sure of the safety of all the firefighters who risk their lives to save us. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach to develop practical interventions to increase the use of Fire Evacuation Lifts is the best way to serve our saviors. It will make the life safer for firefighter and for the people.“ 

The city needs to ensure implementation of an advanced fire evacuation lift before we lose more human lives and an effort in planning safer infrastructure.