The Mumbai fire brigade is contemplating sending a notice to a high-rise on Ridge Road at Walkeshwar for not carrying out maintenance of fire equipment installed in the residential building. The move comes following a fire on the eighth floor of the 16-storey Purab Apartments which broke out around 11pm on Monday. The building houses 50 flats.
According to fire officials, equipment such as riser and drums were present in the building, but they were not functional since they haven't been maintained for a long time. The building is more than 35 years old.
"High-rises should compulsorily go for an annual maintenance of the installed fire equipment. The societies should go for an annual maintenance contract with government-licensed agencies, spending a certain amount, so that the equipment are operational in case of an emergency," a fire official said.
The official added that the onus of taking initiative to carry out the maintenance of equipment regularly lies on the society. "Most societies are reluctant to carry out the maintenance of such equipment regularly, rendering them useless during emergency," he said.
Following the notice, the society will have to send a report to the fire brigade within a stipulated period of time, the maximum of which is 120 days.
Deputy chief fire officer P Rahangdale said, "We will study the investigation report and take action accordingly."
While there were no injuries or casualties reported, a 1,500 sq feet flat on that floor was gutted in the fire. At least 15 fire tenders were pressed into service and the fire was doused within an hour.
Residents promptly vacated the building, immediately after they were informed of the fire. "Since it's a vacation season, most of the residents were out of station," informed a resident of the building.
Neither the secretary of the society or the owner of the flat that was damaged was available for comments.