295 out of 336 big hospitals not firesafe – HYDERABAD

Hyderabad: Exposing gross negligence and utter disregard for norms, inspections by the Fire Prevention Wing of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) revealed that 295 hospitals out of 336 in the city with a capacity of up to 50 beds failed to take safety measures.

After completing inspection of hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities in the city, the authorities have found deficiencies in implementation of fire safety norms in over 90 percent of them.

Only 41 hospitals provided fire safety measures, that too not up to the mark.

The inspections were conducted in the wake of the major fire accident at Park Hospital in Somajiguda and a few other hospitals in the State capital.

The FPW carried out inspections on eight parameters. Of these, the glaring deficiencies they found related to non-installation of fixed fire-fighting equipment as per the National Building Code (NBC) rules in almost all the hospitals (334).

The other major deficiencies include: nonauto glow exit signages (330 hospitals – 98.21 pc), no training to security staff in operation of fire safety equipment (323 – 96.13 pc), failure to provide operable windows at the landings of staircases, no ramp provision for smoke venting (295 – 87.80 pc), no room for fire vehicle be operate at least on two sides (265 – 78.87 pc), lack of minimum two exits for every floor (228 – 67.86 pc), no fire extinguishers (220 – 65.48 pc) and no emergency lighting with battery backup up to two hours in escape routes (59 – 17.56 percent).

The FP Wing officials told Expresso that a detailed report on the inspections had been submitted to the GHMC Commissioner as well as the Hyderabad District Medical and Health Office (DM&HO) for necessary action.

The DM&HO has slapped notices on these hospitals and nursing homes and directed them to rectify the deficiencies within 60 days. After two months, the buildings will be reviewed by the FP Wing and if no corrective action was taken by then, legal proceedings would be initiated against them under the Andhra Pradesh Fire Services Act 1999 besides disconnecting power, water and sewerage connections.

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