Dhaka – Owners of the high-rise buildings and industries may now need to obtain yearly fire safety certificate from the Civil Defence and Fire Service department to avoid incidents of fire.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came up with a set of directives Monday to check the fire related tragedies after nearly 100 people died in two fire incidents in Dhaka in February and March.
The Prime Minister issued the directives at the weekly meeting of the cabinet asking the authorities concern to ensure the buildings are constructed as per the building code and the fire safety check is regular.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam briefed reporters after the meeting.
Fire incidents are very frequent in Bangladesh as a report prepared by the fire service department shows 208,681 incidents of fire were reported in the last 14 years beginning from 20018.
Risks are running high in Dhaka as the Bangladeshi capital city has been growing very rapidly having nearly 2 million population. The city has as many as 4,000 high-rise building above eight-storey, according to experts.
The last fire incident at a 22-storey commercial building in Dhaka’s upmarket Banani neighbourhood killed 26 people and injured dozens others on Thursday. Many people were trapped inside the building and the fire fighters rescued more than 100 of them from the inferno.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the prime minister asked the authorities for regular inspection at the high-rise buildings and other establishments for fire safety arrangements, said Alam.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence, which is responsible for issuing fire safety clearance certificate for construction of any building, was asked to ensure site inspection to see viability of the building being constructed, he said.
The Prime Minister also asked to ensure that arrangements for regular fire drill (in every three months) by the building owner in every three months are done. She also asked for installation of intelligent equipment to control smokes during the fire incidents.
Hasina called upon the people to strictly maintain the building code while constructing any property and create water reservoir. She asked the city dwellers to preserve the lakes.
She asked the fire fighting department to procure more hydraulic lifts to be used for dousing fire and recuing the trapped ones.
The architects must keep the environment in mind while designing a building, ensure appropriate fire exit that remain open all the time, Hasina said suggested for replacement of electronic doors at offices, which usually don’t work during power cuts, with ones that are easy to open during any disaster.
She also asked to make an arrangement for tarpaulin in the high-rise building so that it could be use during the fire incident.
Keeping veranda in each schools and hospitals is mandatory, the Prime Minister said asking the interior designers to make an arrangement so that those verandas remain open for all time. She also asked to keep more than one emergency exit, at least two, for each high-rise building.
The cabinet adopted a condolence motion at the loss of lives and property in Thursday’s deadly fire at Faruk Rupayan Tower in Banani. Te meeting also prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved families.
newsnextbd.com/ reporting by Nazrul Islam