Kamala building fire: Electrical audit for buildings above 5 floors likely to become mandatory

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Kamala building fire: Electrical audit for buildings above 5 floors likely to become mandatory
© Provided by Hindustan Times Hemant Parab, Chief Fire Officer, said the general opinion is residential societies should be asked to conduct an electrical audit. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: The Mumbai Fire Brigade has said an annual electrical safety audit, on the lines of biannual fire audit, might become compulsory for buildings above 15 metres or of five floors. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the fire brigade are in talks with the state government in this regard. The move comes in the backdrop of frequent fires in high-rises caused by defective electric wiring.

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On Saturday, a major fire at the 20-storey Kamala Building in Tardeo claimed six lives and left 24 injured.

According to the fire brigade, they have jointly held a meeting with the state electrical inspector along with BMC officials.

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Hemant Parab, Chief Fire Officer, said the general opinion is residential societies should be asked to conduct an electrical audit. “The electrical inspector can make such an audit mandatory once a year. We will also give them inputs in formulating such a policy considering this will bring down the fire incidents in the city.”

Parab added, “In many fire incidents, defective electric wires are either the cause, or contribute to spreading the blaze. Hence, we need to fix this issue for which we will require periodic electrical audits.”

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In October 2021, a major fire was reported at Avighna Park, a 60- storey building at Currey Road. One person was killed. The fire brigade had said that the primary cause of the blaze was short circuit.

In case of Saturday’s incident, though the fire was on the 19th floor, wiring in the electric duct was damaged due to which power supply in the entire building was cut off.

On the investigation, Parab said, “During any blaze, the fire and smoke spread to upper floors but in this case, the smoke and heat were vented rapidly to the lower floors. We are investigating what could be the cause for this and whether it was due to some layer or due to the weather.”

Meanwhile, fire officials on Sunday said they will conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report in 15 days. The probe has not started yet considering the residents are in a state of panic.

The inquiry will look into three aspects: cause of fire, reasons for the spread of the fire, and illegal addition or alteration in the building, if any.

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