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85 city buildings identified as highly risky, 409 risky

Published : 21 Mar 2024 10:47 PM | Updated : 22 Mar 2024 09:17 PM

The Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) through a visit to different parts of capital Dhaka has identified a total of 85 buildings as highly risky and 409 others as risky in the city. 

The buildings, which have no fire-safety measures have been labelled as highly risky and those having minimum fire-safety measures have been categorised as risky. 

The FSCD identified these buildings while visiting 518 establishments in the capital from March 5 to March 20.

During the visit, the FSCD identified only 24 buildings as less risky.

After the blaze at a building on Bailey Road, the FSCD strengthened its drives in shopping malls and restaurants. Fire service officials inspected the fire-fighting system of shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants.

Then, the FSCD sent letters to the owners of the hazardous and risky establishments and asked them to strengthen the fire-fighting system as soon as possible. 

They also put banners in front of eight highly risky buildings and two risky ones. 

Thirty-five establishments have also been fined Tk 23,4000. 

On Wednesday, Fire Service declared Dhanmondi Hawkers Market in  New Market area as extremely risky and Noor Mansion as risky. A banner reading ‘high risk’ was hanged at Dhanmondi Hawkers Market. 

Earlier, Fire Service and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) conducted a joint operation in the two markets. According to fire 

service sources, there is no firefighting system at Dhanmondi Hawkers Market. There is no reserve water tank to extinguish fire. Besides, there is no emergency exit. There are only a few fire extinguishers, less than half of what is needed.

A team of firefighters led by Dhaka Region Commander of Fire Service Faisalur Rahman, visited the two markets. At that time, the hawkers market authorities could not show any firefighting system. So they hanged the banner, declaring the market very risky. Later, the fire service officials declared Noor Mansion dangerous. 

Sources said city dwellers are at constant fire risk due to inadequate fire safety measures in most of the restaurants and shopping malls in the capital.

These establishments may become death traps for city dwellers if fire breaks out there as hundreds of people gather there every day. 

Fire may break out any time due to short-circuitry or carelessness in those establishments, but they have been running their service in those risky establishments for years without fire safety measures.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence has repeatedly sent letters and notices to strengthen the fire-fighting system, but the authorities concerned are indifferent to it.

Talha bin Zasim, an official of the FSCD (media cell), said the basic fire safety facilities include fire detection and alarm systems, extinguishers, hose reels with water connection, a fire exit, an accessible road, and a reservoir with adequate water reserve. 

There should have safe assembly space and an in-house trained firefighting team in a building, he added.

According to the FSCD, owners of some buildings did not implement the requirements, although they had managed the NOC (No Objection Certificate) before construction. 

On the other hand, some owners did not care about the fire department certificate while building their structures.