Fire Alert: No coaching classes in Nagpur satisfy fire safety norms

Nagpur: On Friday, May 24 this year a coaching centre in Sarthana area of Surat in Gujarat caught fire causing 19 teenage students their life. Many of whom jumped and fell to their deaths while some got suffocated owing to severe smoke of the fire. If similar tragedy would have hit the Orange city, the consequences would be catastrophic as none of the prime coaching classes have fire NOC nor they are operating with essential fire safety required for educational bundling, reveals the report of city Fire Department.

The so called coaching classes who always seems worried about student’s ‘future’ by securing them seat in IITs and AIMS appears to take their ‘present’ for granted while ignoring the fire safety measures. The classes which enable students with every possible comfort inside the campus somehow managed to ignore the norms and standards set by the Fire Department.

The coaching centres fall under educational institution category of the Fire Department. Hence, it is essential for them to secure fire NOC.

When Nagpur Today took matter to Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Rajendra Uchake he stressed that, despite initiating several attempts from 2015 to ensure fire safety of coaching classes, none of the institutions have adopted the fire safety measures.

“In case mixed occupancy, in so far as fire protection is concerned, all the occupancies/the entire building shall be governed by the most restrictive provisions of the Code among those applicable for individual occupancies. The provisions for life safety given in the Code for individual occupancy shall, however, apply to the respective occupancies. Exits in such mixed occupancy shall be arranged so as to ensure that means of egress is not decreased in direction of egress travel. Further, in such mixed occupancies, the occupancies are also required to be speared (horizontally and/or vertically as the case may be) by a 240 min fire resistance rating,” ascertained the CFO.

Provision of exit signs

“Exits shall be clearly visible and the route to reach the exits shall be clearly marks and signs posted to guide the occupants of the floor concerned, signs shall be illuminated and wired to an independent electrical circuit on an alternative source of supply,” he said.

Two exits for < 45 students

“For classroom accommodating more than 45 students there shall be two doorways. The minimum required number of exits in a building shall be determined based on occupant load and width required per person as appropriate to the type of exit for respective occupancies, subject to complying with maximum travel distance requirement,” Uchake said.

64 coaching classes have issued notice

“Owing to n-numbers of coaching classes flourishing across every corner of the city, we are trying to cover coaching centres in phases. In the initial phase, we have inspected 64 institutions and found them trailing when it comes to satisfy fire safety norms,” said the CFO and added, “All of them have issued notices.”

By Shubham Nagdeve