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Alarm for Mumbai; Rising Temperature and Rising Fire incidents

Mumbai (Maharahstra) [India], March 28: Every year the arrival of summer not only increases the mercury but also increases fire incidents. Since the beginning of 2024, there has been an increase in fire incidents in Mumbai. The rise in numbers is alarming whether it is Navroz Hill Society or the recent Dosti Ambrosia, Antop Hill fire incident.  Even before summer, the city had witnessed some major fire incidents, especially in Mumbai’s high-rises. As temperatures rise, fire has become a more serious threat to Mumbaikars.

A vertically growing city like Mumbai is paying attention to fire evacuation and fire safety principle systems. The report reveals that high-rise buildings are being constructed rapidly in areas like Malad, Goregaon, Powai, Vikhroli, and Kanjurmarg. The city saw more than 70 new tall buildings in the first half of 2023, including 60 buildings over 150 meters and 10 towers over 200 meters.

Due to such an increasing number, the city needs precautionary measures, especially as summer progresses and the city reports an increase in major fire incidents. In summer, the heat can turn a fire into a dangerous blaze within seconds and suffocation also increases the risk of loss of life. Even for firefighters, it is impractical to climb the 25th floor and above in summer.

They will quickly become exhausted from the heat and face respiratory problems that will delay the evacuation of residents. In such an environment, not only the residents but also the fire personnel will be injured. Therefore, it is reluctant to ensure the presence and full-functioning of firefighting systems including fire evacuation lifts in high-rise buildings is essential as per the Maharashtra Energy Department for faster and safer evacuation of people. 

Most importantly, societies and residents must take responsibility for maintaining and complying with all standards set forth by the fire department. Residents should clean all unnecessary combustible materials and garbage kept inside and outside the house.

Dr. Deepak Monga, a Fire Safety and Evacuation Expert guided the societies to check the electrical switchboards/ appliances in the buildings to prevent overheating and short circuits. Also, staircases should be cleared off furniture, paper, or other blockages to facilitate quick exit of people in case of a fire mishap. During summer, short-circuits become the prime reason so if the societies have the Fire Evacuation Lift then they can easily evacuate themselves in the time of power failure. These lifts have a battery back-up system and an hour’s fire-rated vision panel.” 

Dr Vikram Mehta, an industry expert believes that the city needs to take a more proactive approach to ensure safe infrastructure and living conditions. As the city is growing vertically, a well-planned evacuation strategy and framework is essential to save the lives of the residents. Summer is knocking on our door, so without wasting time, start strictly following all the guidelines given by the government and fire brigade.”

There are about 250 tall buildings in India completed or under construction. Mumbai is followed by Hyderabad, where planners are keen on vertical growth, according to a report by real estate consultancy CBRE India. In this case, a revolutionary fire evacuation lift is the right and alternative solution to save lives, save FSI, save costs, and save rescuers (firefighters) by quickly evacuating occupants in emergencies.

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