Effective Fire Security System for High-rise
Fire safety has always taken a back seat in India with very little awareness and knowledge sharing on how to deal with the fire hazards.
By:Dr.NiranjanHiranandani, Founder & CMD, Hiranandani Communities, President, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO)
The rapid urbanisation and a in high rise developments in residential and commercial segments has made developers and government authoritiesto recognize the need to execute robust fire safety measures& policies.
Fire safety measures
Passive fire fighting mainly includes proper compartmentalization and containing of both, fire and smoke. The planning should ensure that fire does not spread from one compartment/ section/ floor to another. Proper arrangement to ensure smoke ventilation during the design stage of the high rise structure plays an important role.
Active fire protection is about the Fire Alarm and Fire Fighting System, which should be in sync with specific requirements of the high rise structure and tailor made to suit the building’s architecture and design. This includes the Fire Hydrant System; Sprinkler System and Fire Alarm System.
• It is developer’s responsibility to equip the development with modern fire safety techniques and hire trained fire safety team to enhance the safety quotient.
• The occupants need to be educated on identifying different types of fire –one caused by electrical short circuit or due to exploding of LPG gas cylinder and accordingly be trained on regular basis through mock drills.
• Maintenance of the fire safety system and keeping it fully functional is the responsibility of residents.
• The higher one goes in terms of construction, the more the need for internal safety and security.
• The structure’s design and layout has to be planned such wherein reliability on external rescue efforts is minimal and internal safety measures are sound and strong.
• The planning of the safety system actually begins with detection, the first line of communication about a potential danger.
We recently had a situation at one of our high-rise structures in Hiranandani Estate, Thane where a fire in a locked apartment was detected. The in-house fire safety team with their presence of mind and installed modern techniques doused the fire without any causality even before the arrival of city’s fire brigade.
How We Do It
• We have installed sensitive detectors in our high rise construction to flag the alarm in case of any mishap.
• We ensure our safety margin is higher than officially set norms by government authorities.
• Expert team from engineering and planning department of the group considers all the major challenges and work out the best suitable layout.
• We conceptualize and build the structures in sync with the natural topography of the location and mother earth in terms of light and ventilation
• Our passive and active fire fighting measures include: ( i ) Advanced fire alarm system for early fire detection ( ii ) Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus for select areas; ( iii ) Centralized monitoring of Fire Alarm System; ( iv ) Properly designed hydrants, sprinkler pumps; ( v ) set of stand-by pumps to support hydrants, sprinkler pumps; ( vii ) Jockey and Booster pumps and (viii ) external as well as Internal courtyard hydrant for podium and basements.
Let me add here about fire safety in commercial high rise structures with a glass façade instead of bricks and mortar perimeter. There are two factors which we at Hiranandani keep in mind:
• The smoke seal of fire stop around the periphery of the building should be properly designed and executed. This ensures that smoke from one floor does not go to other floors.
• Material used should be FR Grade, especially ACP (Aluminium Composite Panels).