Residential fires have disastrous consequences and are a frightening incident for everybody involved. Not only are the inhabitants at risk but also the neighbouring surroundings. Ensuring fire safety thus becomes extremely important while construction of any building. There are various steps that can help you make sure you and your family are safe even if a fire breaks out.
The National Building Code (NBC) has laid down a set of restrictions on constructions of buildings in each fire zone, types of construction as per fire resistance of both structural as well as non-structural components and numerous other requirements that are essential to reduce danger arising from fire or smoke before the evacuation of the property. As a buyer, you must perform a thorough fire inspection to ensure it is up-to-code. Before you rent or purchase the property check for the building safety and try and identify the safety gaps if any. While doing so here are five things you must keep in mind for yours and your family’s safety:
Automatic Sprinkler System
Fire sprinkler systems react very quickly which is why they are able to dramatically reduce the heat as well as the flames produced in a fire. They are quite effective in protecting commercial and residential property. You must check if your apartment has sprinkler heads that are placed at suitable intervals and work effectively.
Automatic Fire Alarm
There are various kinds of alarms for buildings which include smoke alarms and heat detectors. Smoke alarms are usually recommended by experts as they are able to detect fires and heat quickly and therefore respond faster. Thus, ensure that your building has an effective fire alarm system that is equipped to automatically detect fire and initiate an alarm.
Other Fire Safety Equipment
There are multiple kinds of fire safety equipment that must be present in the building at all times. Portable extinguishers, extinguishers with small hose lines, carbon dioxide extinguishers stationary pumps etc. are a part of the wide range of fire safety equipment. You must ensure that appropriate fire safety equipment must be present on every floor of the building.
Access to a Staircase
It is not advisable to rely upon electrical devices such as lifts for safety evacuation in the incident of a fire. Thus, every building should include at least two staircases of 1-meter width and the width of the fire escape should be at least 0.75 meters. The staircases serve as an important and effective escape route out of the building and an access for the firefighting staff to reach the source of the fire.
Importance of Service ducts
Each service duct must be enclosed by walls having the ability of 2 hour fire resistance while being sealed with noncombustible materials at every alternate floor. The sealing helps to prevent the fire and smoke from spreading to other levels of the building.
Apart from the above-mentioned safety measures, you must also keep in mind that there is enough space around the building for the operation of the fire service vehicles. Also, check with the developer if they have used non-combustible materials such as portland cement concrete or gypsum concrete during its construction. If you are planning to purchase luxury flats in South Kolkata it would be advisable to conduct a proper fire safety inspection for a happy and relaxed living.