The Indian economy has opened up new business avenues that have changed urban dynamics.

With the growing incomes, people’s aspirations for comfort and convenience have increased many folds which in turn motivated the demand for lifestyle homes. The growing demand for accommodation has created a boom in the real estate sector. Space crunch in urban areas has led to vertical development of buildings – special type of buildings for housing industries and construction of high rise buildings for residential, commercial, and institutional purposes. The invention of a safe and high speed passenger clivator and the development of better structural framing system made such buildings possible. Today, in any major city, you will see high rise buildings stretching across the skyline! The word ‘skyscraper’ was coined in the late 19th century, reflecting public amazement at the tall buildings being built in New York city. The structural definition of the word ‘skyscraper’ was created later by architectural historians, based on engineering development of the 1988’s, which had enabled construction of tall multistory buildings. The high rise buildings are generally considered as one that is taller than the maximum height which people are willing to walk up. There are many definitions for high rise buildings and some highlights on the number of floors and others on the height of the building such as 15m, 25m, 35m etc. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of USA defines “high rise building”, as a building greater than 75 feet (25 m) in height where the building height is measured from the lowest level of fire department vehicle access to the floor of the highest occupiable storey. As per the National Building Code of India, 2005, all the buildings 15m or above in height shall be considered as high rise buildings. As the demand for housing is on the up swing, the number of high rise buildings in the cities of India is rising day by day, especially in metro cities and their out skirts. However, no comprehensive data is available for the number of high rise buildings existing or under construction in the country. Higher growth in the construction of high rise buildings were noticed in some of the metro cities in the country. For example, the Greater Mumbai and its outskirts, like Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan has registered a higher growth in construction of high rise buildings during the last decade. It is estimated that about 5000 high rise buildings are already in Mumbai region and about equal numbers are planned for the next decade or so. Even the high rise buildings having more than 100 floors have either planned or under construction at not only in Mumbai but also in other cities such as Bangaluru, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Noida, etc. The construction industry has gone through major technological advancement. Of Late, building design, especially for high rise and special buildings, has become a complex process, integrating many skills, products and techniques into its system. Many high rise buildings were constructed with marvelous designs and adopting advanced construction technology. Though these high rise buildings offer many advantages such as consumes optimal space, accommodate more people, round the clock security, back up power supply, car parking, provide healthy environment by making environment sensitive development, etc., high rise buildings have their down side too. A high rise building is prone to natural calamities if not built on structurally strong foundation. It also created extra burdens for various authorities in providing infrastructure such as roads, power and water supply. Many of these high rise buildings also lack adequate infrastructure needed for the prevention and fire protection in the building and also the life safety measures required for the occupants. The fire risk in a high – rise residential building would be significantly higher than in a lower rise building. The probability of a fire and the consequence would be much higher and the

Chennai had more than 8950 fire incidents during 2001 to 2006 (5 years). It should be born in mind that a fire can happen at any time at any structure. 1362 persons died due to house / building collapse during the year 2010. maintained and operated so as to avoid danger to life and property. property protection and continuity of operations or functioning. and severs damage to property. a good fire protection system shall not only be installed but also to be maintained in good working condition so as to meet eventualities at any time. It may be seen from the Table 1 that. Facts and Figures: According to a report of Delhi Fire Service. (a) Houses and (b) Buildings. There were 24414 persons died due to fire accidents in 2010 (See Table 1). (a) Fire Works & Crackers. the main causes can be attributed to 4 categories viz. constructed. Delhi had more than 75. Govt. According to Tamil Nadu Fire Service. Besides. which resulted in the death of 24414 persons and injury to 3134 persons. (b) Short Circuits. of India. There is no comprehensive data available for the number of fires reported in India for high rise buildings. Thus. it is necessary to create a basic infrastructure and maintain them for meeting any eventualities at any time. The high rise buildings which are built on strong foundation can even stand firm against any external disturbing factors. However. A fire in any residential building has the potential to cause harm to the occupants. Ministry of Home Affairs. resulting in more than 31 deaths. . However. When it comes to the high-rise buildings the problem become much more complex. irrespective of the past fire free record. the number of occupants increases. there were 26025 fire cases.resulting risk would be even higher. and potential fire disaster increases. the data regarding the accidents due to structural Collapse and Fires are compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). During the same period 1362 persons died and 923 injured due to collapse of houses and buildings. For the purpose of comparison. For the prevention of fire. during the year 2010.39 crores. the buildings should have a system capable of fighting a fire. The Table shows the number of Persons died and injured due to the collapse of structures and fires during the year 2010. equipped. For our purpose we relied on the data. (c) Burst of Cooking Gas Cylinders and Stows and (d) Other Causes. resulting more than 1825 deaths and injury to 7600 persons and loss of property valuing more than 176 crores. Its magnitude can be reduced only when the buildings and structures are designed. loss of property valuing more than 10. the table also provides the data for the year 2009. It poses high risk to the life and property of its occupants. (a) Collapse of Structures and (b) Fires. However. The Structural Collapse can be divided into two viz. It is a known fact that if a fire cannot be extinguished in the initial stages. As a building gets taller. A good building design is required to cater to various potential emergency situations. To contain a fire. there is no record available for the number of persons died in the high rise buildings due to structural collapse or fire. published by NCRB. it would become more and more difficult for the fire fighters to extinguish a fire as the time advances. Fires in a residential building including high rise building can happen due to various reasons. The amount of water required for fighting a fire within the initial 3 minutes will increase to about 1000 folds within 10 minutes. Major Potential Hazards involved in residential buildings can be grouped into two viz. The main objective of fire safety design of buildings should be assurance of life safety. which is the normal time for a fire engine to reach the site of the fire.000 fire incidents during 1995 – 96 to 1999 – 2000 (5 years).

ofNo. Name of States No. 3. amongst the states. of Persons Died Male 661 928 499 1004 1448 917 434 Female 1157 1723 1052 2211 4088 1653 735 Total 1818 2651 1551 3215 5536 2570 1169 547 387 163 1328 1387 158 4127 4912 313 17266 18339 2500 23268 25025 3134 276 1312 4820 18006 24414 1091 1003 714 265 252 209 1356 1255 923 985 377 1362 Causes Collapse of Structures 1.P Maharashtra Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh No. Andhra Pradesh Gujarat Karnataka M. ofNo. of No. Gujarat and Tamil Nadu had also registered the highest number of deaths. of No. and Died due to Structural Collapse and Fire During the year 2009 & 2010 2009 2010 No. House 2. Table 2 Number of Persons Injured and Died due to Fire in Selected States During the year 2010 Sr. Fire Works Crackers Short Circuits Gas Cylinders/Stow Burst Other Fire Accidents 583 268 1410 207 4104 241 18787 2328 24884 3044 Total Ref: National Crime Records. 3. 4. Buildings A B . It may be seen from the table that. 7. 5. 2.Bureau. of No. of Persons Injured Male 44 25 19 47 688 38 124 Female 70 40 16 30 1228 47 80 Total 114 65 35 77 1916 85 204 No.Table 1 Number of Persons Injured. 4. 2. Ministry of Home Affairs 2010. The state of Madhya Pradesh. The Table 2 gives an account of the number of persons injured due to fire accidents in selected states during the year 2010. involving the death of 5536 persons in 7337 cases. 1. had registered the highest number of cases and deaths i. of Cases Persons InjuredDeathsCases InjuriesDeaths 1033 242 279 47 1312 289 Total Fires: 1. 6. Maharashtra. Accident statistics for seven states having the highest number of accidents are given in the Table. of Cases 1842 2693 1571 3138 7337 2279 1184 No.e.

Tamil Nadu. In the Table the data for major 3 causes viz. 7. (1) Fire works and crackers. which resulted in the death of 423 (Male – 135 and Female – 288) persons during the year 2010. No. (2) Short Circuits. Accident statistics for 7 cities out of 35 are given in the Table. Table 3 Number of Persons Injured and Died due to Fire in Selected Cities during the year 2010 Sr. Table 4 Fire Accidents by Cause Wise in selected states during 2010 . 2. (3) Bursting of Cooking Gas Cylinders and Stows. 5. Delhi and Pune also registered the highest number of deaths. Gujarat accounted for the highest number deaths (882) due to the bursting of Cooking Gas Cylinders and Stows. Other States All India 5981 26025 325 1310 313 1824 638 3134 2266 8157 3638 16257 5904 24414 The Table 3 gives an account of the fire accident by city wise. 4. of Persons Injured Male 12 31 6 1 339 0 0 67 456 Female 15 3 13 0 373 0 0 26 430 Total 27 34 19 1 712 0 0 93 886 No. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh had also shared highest number of deaths. The Nashik had 785 fires resulted in the death of 99 and injury to 712 persons. It may be seen from the Table that Mumbai city had registered the highest number of deaths due to fire. It may be seen from the Table that the state of Uttar Pradesh accounts for the largest number of deaths (40 persons) due to Fire Works and Crackers. The Table 4 shows Cause wise data for fires occurred in various states during the year 2010. 1. The Bangalore. No. of Cases 390 256 213 421 785 291 211 1880 4447 No. Andhra Pradesh had registered for the highest number of deaths (273) due to short circuit. of Persons Died Male 119 138 68 135 24 78 95 717 1374 Female 246 151 140 288 75 213 116 1248 2477 Total 365 289 208 423 99 291 211 1965 3851 Name of City Bangalore Delhi City Hyderabad Mumbai Nasik Pune Surat Other Cities All Cities Fires are caused due to various causes.8. 8. All other causes are categorized under Other Fire Accidents. 6. 3.

No. 2. No. No. 4. A. 6. It may be seen from the Table that the state of U. 2.e. 6. of Deaths No.P. Andhra Pradesh Gujarat Karnataka M. Maharashtra. 233 deaths from 245 cases. 5. of of of of of of Death Death Death Death Cases Case Case Case Case s s s s s s s s 24 29 17 20 25 28 13 20 11 23 40 116 276 271 205 78 54 199 90 62 428 273 206 66 55 152 103 62 395 601 897 410 130 609 697 140 584 882 384 122 596 746 144 946 936 1842 2693 1571 3138 7137 2279 1184 5981 2602 5 Short Circuits Gas Cylinder Other Fire or Stow Accidents Burst Total No. Table 5 Accidents Due to Structural Collapse by State Wise During 2010 House Collapse Building Collapse Sr. 1818 2651 1551 3215 5536 2570 1169 5904 24414 1562 1535 1067 1088 2934 3018 6494 4777 1454 1698 912 923 Maharashtr 35 a Tamil Nadu U. 3. Maharashtra Tamil Nadu No. of Cases No. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat had also registered the higher number of deaths. P.P.Sr. of No. 8. No. No. No. 3. Name of No States . of No.P. 7. of No. of Death s 1. had registered the highest number of deaths i. 4.P. 5. Other States All India 38 70 154 387 1428 1362 4912 4820 5742 4031 2111 18006 1387 1312 The Table 5 shows the Accidents due to structural collapse by state wise during the year 2010. of Cases No. Name of States 1. Gujarat Karnataka M. of Deaths 69 80 33 103 128 78 82 95 35 100 108 62 10 10 11 7 60 27 27 10 36 6 54 39 . Fire Works & Crackers Total No.

9. 5. 2. 6. 7. of Persons Died Male 23 85 20 34 26 0 26 108 322 Female 7 41 11 10 5 0 5 52 131 Total 30 126 31 44 31 0 31 160 453 Sr. removal of obstructions in common corridors or staircases. 4. Delhi Other States All India 245 22 245 1003 233 23 217 955 30 12 85 252 34 81 90 377 The Table 6 shows the account of structural collapse of 7 cities out of 35 cities in India. up – to – date Fire Code. U.7. The need for all such products to be tested and evaluated for their behavior in fire and flame propagation properties. 1. There has been tremendous advancement in the use of various kinds of plastics in the building industry. cannot be overemphasized in the interest of fire and life safety requirements. removal of encroachments in the courtyard. a vibrant wet riser system and a sump of adequate capacity are some of the fire safety requirements in multi storyed residential buildings. It may be seen from the table that the Delhi City had registered the highest number of deaths i. New types of roofing. case panels for walls and interior finish materials are been increasingly used. 8. walls. Pune and Ahmadabad had also registered higher deaths. 8. addressing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire & explosion. 3. No.P. .e. of Cases 30 160 19 38 33 41 31 44 396 No. Periodic fire drill. These have brought in their wake new fire and life safety problems. 126 persons (85 – Male and 41 – Female). Name of City Ahmedabad Delhi City Hyderabad Meerat Mumbai Nasik Pune Other Cities All Cities Design Strategy: Those responsible for building Codes formulation recognize the need for a modern. Table 6 Structural Collapse by city wise during 2010 No. doors and false ceiling panels. of Persons Injured Male 0 77 10 35 7 26 0 18 173 Female 0 36 3 5 0 15 0 9 68 Total 0 113 13 40 7 41 0 27 241 No. The cities like Meerut.

Improved emergency response. shafts and upper levels.death fires in residential high rise buildings. Architects must realize the consequences of failure of built in protection or the absence of appropriate occupant based programme on risk to life for occupants of high rise residential buildings. In multiple . Education and training. These recommendations will be an eye opener for the designers and architects. Architects must also understand how building and occupant – based safety need to . The collapse of World Trade Center on 11th September 2001 has raised numerous questions on relationship between fire service response and building design. Though. the readers would be interested to know the main topics covered in the report which are as follows: Increased structural Integrity. According to a report by Ontario Association of Architects (OAA). which occurs when the buildings inside temperature is greater than the outside. In apartment fires with doors left open or burned – through. Improved building education. but some others could lead to substantial changes in the building design. Despite the type of structure (steel or reinforced concrete). The disaster has also highlighted the increased threat from terrorism and the impact this might have on fire fighter safety and on the build environment. Appropriate instructions to occupants during a fire are essential of it is expected that they should take specific actions. it is beyond the scope of this article to highlight the recommendations of NIST. residential high – rise building fires illustrate a number of points that designers should take into consideration: Unsuspected fires in high rise buildings generate large quantities of smoke that can spread vertically or horizontally through the building. Many of the recommendations were logical outgrowths of the event.Ensuring life safety is the most essential aspect of Building Codes. A contained. Improved active fire protection. deaths and injuries result from the spread of smoke. Vertical smoke spread is exacerbated by wind and by stack effect. many facilities occour in egress routes (stairways and corridors) due to smoke from a fire elsewhere in a building. USA. most damage. but not extinguished fire can also generate significant smoke. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Enhanced fire resistance of structures New methods of fire resistance design of structures. Improved procedure and practices and. High rise and multi storey assembly buildings pose particular challenges due to the large number of occupants and large vertical travel distances. even if the fire is contained to only one room or apartment. in its final report on the collapses of the World Trade Center Towers recommended 30 recommendations in 8 groups. smoke will spread to the corridors. Sometimes it may be safer for building occupants to remain in their apartments or rooms rather than to exit through smoke – filled corridors and stairshafts.

local bodies and other . fire hazards and health aspects of buildings. Venting system is also needed to be designed carefully to carry carbon monoxide and potential fuels along protected paths. rules for design of electrical installations. The code was revised in 1983 and 2005. drainage. It must be born in the mind that major building fires are started by heat sources and ignitable materials that are stored in the building. as well as to the danger of flying branch of fire. Traditionally the means of escape strategy by and large is based on the principle of single stage evacuation. National Building Code (NBC): The National Building Code of India (NBC) 2005. To achieve fire safety in a building is through fire prevention. fire protection requirements. However. the choice of materials and methods of design and construction is left to the ingenuity of the building professionals. This method is particularly useful in super high rise structures where the large vertical travel distances result in a number of significant problems like possible increased exposure to smoke and fire. the information contained in various Indian standards is woven into a pattern of continuity and cogency with the inter dependent requirements of sections carefully analyzed and fitted into make the whole document a cogent continuous volume. In high rise buildings with large number of occupants it has been found that single – phase evacuation is a time consuming process and is impracticable. To achieve this. A fire in one building creates an external fire hazard in neighboring structures by exposing those structures to heat by radiation. measures to ensure safety of workers and public during construction. It lays down a set of minimum provisions designed to protect the safety of the public with regard to structural sufficiency. air conditioning and clothes washing and drying. and possibly by convention currents. increased fatigue during evacuation and difficulty in safe evacuation of injured. The Code contains regulations which can be immediately adopted or enacted for use by various departments. air conditioning and lifts. so long as these basic requirements are met. and rules for erection of signs and outdoor display structures. the heating system and any other built in equipment such as cooking. there is a much wider potential use for fire protected lifts in ordinary buildings for general evacuation purpose. infants aged or disabled occupants. Protection from lightning and explosion fires affects the external design of the building. Simply complying with a building code does not necessarily provide optimum fire safety. The Code also covers aspects such as administrative regulations. which involves separating potential heat sources from potential fuels. Evaluating a design for building fire safety represent a systematic approach to a fire safety strategy. The provisions of the code are intended to serve as a model for adoption by Public Works Departments and other government construction departments. The NBC was first published in 1970. stipulations regarding materials and structural design.work together. buildings are designed with stairways of sufficient width to enable all the occupants to evacuate simultaneously. required compliance with fire safety measures in all residential buildings. Fire fighters as well as disabled people use fire fighting lifts in tall buildings. development control rules and general building requirements. acoustics and plumbing services such as water supply. The National Building Code of India is a single document in which. like a network. municipal administrations and public bodies. This method is today recognized as the best method for evacuation in high rise buildings in several countries. sanitation and gas supply. This has led to a system of evacuation known as phased evacuation in which the building is evacuated in different phases in the event of fire. regulations for ventilation. Fire prevention is enhanced by careful observance of codes and standards in the design and installation of electrical and lighting system. refrigeration. lighting.

The Development Control Regulations are available in most of the major cities in the country. (iii) Fire Protection – covering the significant appurtenances and their related components and guidelines for selecting the correct type of equipment and installation meant for fire protection of building. (ii) Life Safety – Covering life safety provisions in the event of fire and similar emergencies. fumes and panic. Development Control Regulations (DCR): The National Building Code as a whole including Part 4 is the basic model code for all other building codes in the country. depending upon the classification and type of the building. D. C. The norms and provisions available in these regulations are more over similar in nature. annexure C and E are more relevant. After the introduction of National Building Code of India. Mumbai Regulations on fire prevention and life safety requirements of buildings are mostly based on NBC Part 4 and framed under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act 1966. Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act: The protection of life and property of the occupants of the high rise buildings became a serious problem for various authorities especially those who deal with fire and safety. The code specifies planning and construction features and fire protection features for all occupancies that are necessary to minimize danger to life and property. which is followed by various states in the country. Existing PWD Codes. A.C deals with Fire Protection Requirements for High-Rise Buildings – 15 meters in Height and above. also describing the various types of building material and their fire safety rating. and fire protection of buildings. level to ensure health and safety.E deals with Guidelines for Fire Drill And Evacuation Procedures for High-Rise Buildings – above 15 meters in height. and E attached to Part – 4. life safety in relation to fire. by and large.construction agencies. The Part-3 of the Code covers the development control rules and general building requirements for proper planning and design at the layout of the building. The Part-4 has been divided into the following broad clauses:(i) Fire Prevention – Covering aspects of fire prevention to design and construction of buildings on passive fire protection measures. . smoke. The Part-4 of the Code covers the requirements for fire prevention. The Code contains about 1150 pages divided into 10 parts. Annex. For example. There are 5 Annexures viz. most of the States and Local Bodies in India have adopted many of the code provisions in their own building Regulations. Amongst the 5 annexures. These regulations have been amended from time to time for meeting the ground realities. municipal byelaws and other regulatory media were either replaced by the National Building Code of India or suitably modified to cater to local requirements in accordance with the provisions of the code. The Development Control Regulations are made by the respective municipal corporations and they are applied to building activity and development work in areas under the jurisdiction of the respective municipal corporations. also addressing construction and occupancy features that are necessary to minimize danger to life from fire. The Part – 3 and Part – 4 are more appropriate to our subject. Annex. B. The 2005 version of the National Building Code is representing the present state of knowledge on various aspects of building construction. public safety and desired quality of life.

smoke control. failing which it shall be actionable under the provisions of the above said Act. the author had observed that the means of exit and fire protection requirements in many of the high rise buildings were not adequate as per the standards prescribed in the Development Control Regulations of various local bodies such as Greater Mumbai. availability of adequate water. According to Section 45 of the Act. fire alarms. refuge areas. 2. voice communication. car parking. According to Section 10 of the Act. 3. As per section 3 of the said Act. Current Requirements: While designing and constructing a high rise building the designers and developers should focus their attention towards many areas with a prime objective of tackling the potential hazard and life safety measures for occupants. Maharashtra Fire Services. 1985. etc. entitled “Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006”. 1986. Automatic sprinklers are the most extensively used installations of a fixed fire fighting system. It was observed that they lacked in proper . Delhi Fire Prevention and Fire Services Act. It is a facility designed to discharge water automatically in sufficient density to control or extinguish a fire in its earliest stages.Probably to overcome these difficulties many states have came up with fire codes / regulations for example. Navi Mumbai. Some of the salient provisions of this Act are given below: 1. viability of total evacuation versus stage evacuation. and code violations are frequent. adhering to the Natural Building Code of India 2005. Some of the concerns of high rise buildings are given in Annexure 1. no person other than the Licensed Agency shall carry out the work of providing fire prevention and life safety measures for performing such other related activities required to be carried out in any place or building or part thereof. The state of Maharashtra has also came up with a new Act. emergency power. It is also obligatory on the part of the developer/builder/occupier/owner/tenant by whatsoever names called to abide with the provisions of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006. the sprinkler systems are the best protective methods suited for high rise buildings. the owner / occupier or developer shall appoint Fire Officer / Officers and staff for taking adequate fire and safety measures. dynamics of air movement. Due to the vested interests and the political pressures. automatic sprinklers. enforcement of these regulations leaves much to be desired. The sprinkler system apart from control and extinguishing fires also give out an alarm an alerts people to take suitable action to tackle the fire. qualification and experience of such persons be got approved from the Director. implementations of some of the provisions in the regulations are rendered difficult. The lessons learned from various fires occurred in high rise buildings all over the world. the level of information needed by the occupants. While conducting Fire Safety Audit on a number of high rise buildings in Mumbai and its outskirts. The most commonly found fire fighting items in these buildings were risers and fire extinguishers. Tamil Nadu Fire Services Act. Conclusion: Although building codes do exist in various cities in India. failing which it shall be treated as violation of the said Act. the developer/ owner/ occupier shall comply with all the fire and safety measures. Some of the areas needing attention are height of the building. Thane etc. Some of the basic requirements for high rise buildings are given in Annexure 2.

Fire and life safety in buildings are essential requirements in public interest irrespective of weather the building are owned by public or individuals. The problem becomes extremely complex in evacuating sick and old persons. . codes. 9. Housekeeping was almost a neglected area. architects and engineers. societies / associations of persons and occupants should see that they shall not compromise on any safety norms. Electrically operated passenger lifts and elevators behave erratically during fires. Above all. 13.cum – residential complexes (multi – occupancy units) and are believed to have flouted fire safety norms. many high-rise buildings were constructed. 14. being constructed without strictly adhering to fire safety norms. There was a mere lack of awareness about the rules and regulations on fire safety. Availability of large number of ignition sources such as cooking gas. 11. Basements are used for various uses including storage of combustible materials. 3. Escape Routes blocked in many buildings. and regulations. Tremendous increase in the use of air conditioning. Enormous problem of evacuating large number of people in high rise buildings. with consequent fire risks due to ducts. Most of these high rises are commercial . The periodic fire safety audit should be made compulsory so that it can bring out the grey areas. 2. The staircases are the only safe means of escape and evacuation in such situations. and smoking. It was also observed that the majority of the residents were ignorant about the installations and their working principles. 4. Inspite of the provisions / norms available in various standards. 8. probably due to lack of awareness on the subject. curtains and furniture in upper floors. 5. state of fire and life safety standards in high rise buildings are not at all satisfactory. Only a negligible percentage of people have attended the awareness campaigns when organized. rules. acts. Annexure 1: Concerns of high rise buildings Buildings are very tall – some are even more than 70 floors. Wide use of false ceiling. Vertical spread of fire in high rise buildings is astonishing by fast due to chimney effect. 1. 12. Some of the general precautions that need to be followed by the occupants to prevent fire hazards in high rise buildings are given in Annexure 3. By and large. Buildings are used for multiple occupancies. movement of conditioned air and return air. mainly because of inadequacy of the fire protection requirements provided in the buildings and their lack of periodical maintenance. Convection and radiated heat from floors below can ignite carpets. Fires in electrical cables and lifts are swift in high rise buildings. builders. electricity. contractors. They need to be brought up to the satisfactory level by ensuring more frequent inspections of the premises by the Fire Department officials and by enforcing more stringent enforcement measures.maintenance. 7. the developers. Occupancy certificate for high rise and special buildings shall be issued only after obtaining the clearance from the Chief Fire Officer that all the requirements of means of exit and fire protection as specified in these regulations have been fulfilled. 10. The general state of fire safety in the high rise buildings is by no means reaching the required standards. On the contrary they should act as a guardian for preserving fire safety norms. Built up area per floor is high. Even the residents of the societies hardly conduct any fire drills. 6.

Escape routes are blocked. the edges of the terrace floor shall be provided with parapet walls made of stable material to a height of not less than 120 cms. Security Staff do not have adequate training on fire fighting operations. due to poor maintenance. Disaster plans are not drawn.20 meters and such guard rails shall be firmly fixed to the walls and slabs and may also be of blank walls. Application for construction or reconstruction or additional or alteration of any high rise building shall be accompanied by one set of structural design. Every high rise building shall have at least two staircases. 11. Where access is provided over the terrace floor or to the terrace floor. Mock Drills are not conducted regularly. Every high rise building. Fire fighting equipment installed in the building could be made inoperative at times of emergency. 7. Sufficient car parking is not available. Lack of safety awareness amongst the occupants. 2.15. 10. including that regarding seismic forces as per the provisions contained in the National Building Code of India as amended from time to time and drawings and a structural stability certificate prepared and used by a registered engineer. Every opening provided to ducts from the interior of a building shall be closed with strong materials. with Fire Brigades. 9. 22. Every high rise apartment building having more than 16 dwelling units shall be provided with at least one lift capable of carrying a stretcher. 24. Provide earth leakage circuit breaker. 19. Every slab or balcony overlooking any exterior or interior open space which are 2 meters or more below shall be provided with parapet walls or guard rails of height not less than 1. metal grills or a combination. 20. Every high rise building shall be provided with a fire escape stairway. . Ensure electrical wiring and fittings are approved type and are inspected periodically by an electrician. Every high rise building shall be provided with emergency power supply. codes & standards prevented from time to time. 13. Electrical Installations in high rise buildings shall be made in accordance with relevant rules. 21. 4. 17. 23. 3. Annexure 2: Basic Requirements for High Rise Buildings 1. The height of every high rise building shall be restricted to FSI stipulated in local DCR. 16. 6. House keeping becomes a serious problem. 5. Every high rise building shall have refuge area for every high rise building and its location. 12. 8. Fire Escape stairway shall be directly connected with public or common areas on all floors and shall lead directly to the ground. Refuse disposal become a difficult task. 14. 18. Quite a few upper storey’s are beyond the reach of aerial fire fighting equipment available. 15. if it does not abut on two or more motorable roads shall be provided with a maximum of 5 meters open space on any one of its sides contiguous to the road abutting it to facilitate fire fighting. size and the number shall be decided upon the number of floors in the building.

4. Switches and fuses should confirm to correct rating of circuit. Fire rescue drills should be carried out at regular intervals. Lightning arrestors should be provided for every high rise building. 15. Do not carry out additions and alterations in the building. replaced immediately. Every high rise building should have a fire lift. 20. etc. 18. 7. 19. 17. Don’t plug too many electrical appliances in one socket. Every high rise building should have riser and hose reels preferably on every floor. 8. Always keep the doors of the staircases closed. Every high rise building should have smoke detectors and fire alarms. 3. refuge areas and location of the fire alarms. 14. 23. 23. 16. Every high rise building shall have adequate ventilation and lighting in the corridors. in case of fire. Do not allow storages or obstructions in the common corridors. Impart elementary fire fighting training to occupants. including “Fire Lift”. do not use lifts for escape. Don’t tamper with electrical switches and meters. Do not use the basement for any purpose other than permitted purpose. 20. 5. 26. Do not allow encroachments or storages in the courtyards of the building without the approval of structural engineers. Do not allow fire fighting tanks to be misused or remain empty. Display. 18. 11. 17. 13. Keep means of escape clear of obstructions. A. Do not decorate walls and ceilings of common corridors with combustible materials such as wooden paneling. 2. Seal the electrical ducts at each floor stab level. Faulty electrical appliances should be repaired. 22. 27. All the fire protection installations should be kept in a good state. 25. Every high rise building should have automatic sprinkler system especially in basements. REFERENCES . Don’t paint fire detectors / sprinkler heads.16. All receptacles for waste should be emptied at regular intervals. Annexure 3: Fire Precautions For High Rise Buildings The following are some of the precautions that have to be followed to prevent Fire Hazard in High Rise Buildings:1. sectionalize them. Every high rise building shall have sufficient car parking. Ground all the lifts. Do not switch off “Fire ‘Smoke Detector “System”. Fix warning labels wherever required. Do not allow the Fire doors of the staircases to be kept open. In case of fire. Keep smoke / fire check doors closed. Acquaint yourself with the layout of the escape routes.C. 21. escape routes and labels on every floor. 24. 19. ducts should not pass through one floor to another. 22. staircases and electrical meter rooms. 9. staircases. 10. 21. 6. Every high rise building should have adequate water supply – both underground and on terrace for fire fighting. 12.

Fire Protection Engineering. 1. R. 7. .N. 12. 2. All India Council for Technical Education. All India Council for Technical Education.Veeraraghavan – Fire Technology: Fire Prevention and Fire Protection. Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act.R & R. 8. Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Archives – High Rise Buildings. Indian Electricity Act and Rules. IS 15105 – 2002: Automatic Sprinkler System. 2005. Bangalore. 5. National Product News. 4. 13.K – Safety Audit Bangalore. 21. 11. National Building Code of India. Nair. 16. 2008. – Review of Fire Codes and Byelaws. Nair. 15. 2002.R. IS 2189 – 1999: Code of Practice for Selection and Maintenance of Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm system. IS 3844 – 1989: Code of Practice for Installation and Maintenance of Internal Fire Hydrants and Hose Reels on Premises. J. 9. 17. – Safety Audit. 1966. IS 13039 – 1991: Code of Practice for Provision and Maintenance and external fire hydrant system. 19. CEP Publication. 2006. 14. Delhi Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Rules 1986. R. IS 2189 – 1992: Code of Practice for Selection. 18. G. Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Rules. Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act. IS 9668 – 1990: Code of Practice for Provision and Maintenance of water supplies for fire fighting. Nair. Volume 13. D. 6.Menon. R. 10.B and Vakil. Annual 2001. Installation and Maintenance of Portable First Aid Fire Extinguishers. NFA Fire Protection Handbook 19th Edition. 3. 2002. Delhi Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Act 1986.R & Joshi. Development Control Regulation of Greater Bombay. 20. Bangalore.

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