ISLAMABAD (APP) - Capital Development Authority (CDA) is continuing its efforts for compliance of “Building Standards for Fire Prevention and Life Safety 2010” to ensure safety of lives and infrastructure in federal capital.

The Directorate of Building Control Service, CDA notified the standards which were mandatory to comply with by the owners of buildings under category-II, III and IV.  Category-II includes two-storey buildings, industries and all other non-residential buildings except farmhouses whereas category-III includes non-residential buildings up to five stories (including ground floor) and category-IV includes all high-rise buildings that are six-stories and above including ground floor.

In case of non-compliance, the Authority can use its powers to vacate or seal any building or impose fine on violators up to Rs 500,000, Additional Director, Directorate of Emergency and Disaster Management CDA, Ammad-ud-Din told APP here on Sunday.  He said the directorate is conducting surveys both in public and private buildings to check fire safety arrangements.

Over 20 buildings in Blue Area have been visited so far and directed to install all required equipments. Initially, the regulations have been conveyed to the owners of commercial buildings and if they will not follow the instructions, challans will be issued while in case of non-compliance, fine of Rs 500,000 will be imposed on the violators, Ammad added.  The PM secretariat, foreign office, schools, colleges, universities, high rise buildings including flats, industrial and trade centres will also be covered in the survey.

After completion of the inspection of a building or premises, the civic body will issue a notice to the owner or occupier directing him to undertake measures as specify in the notice.

However, in case of construction of new buildings, clearance in regard to fire prevention and life safety measures shall be required from the Directorate of Emergency and Disaster Management, both at the time of approval of building plan as well as issuance of completion certificate by the authority.  He said CDA is the first municipality to introduce and implement such standards in the federal capital which are aim to prevent and mitigate effects of disasters and emergencies, especially in case of fire. Ammad said “Being the sole civic agency of the capital territory, it is responsible for protecting the lives and properties of the inhabitants in wake of natural or man-made disasters.” CDA building standards under “Building Standards for Fire Prevention and Life Safety 2010” have been divided into three clauses; fire prevention, life safety and fire protection. Fire prevention covers the aspects pertaining to design and construction of buildings on passive fire protection measures, describing various types of building material and their fire safety rating. Life safety provision deals with events of fire and similar emergencies, addressing construction and occupancy features that are necessary to minimize danger to life from fire, smoke, fumes or panic.

Fire protection aspect is related to appurtenance, their related components and guidelines for selecting correct types of equipment and installations meant for fire protection of buildings depending on their classifications and types. Islamabad has faced a number of major fire incidents in the past in which many people lost their lives as well as properties worth millions of rupees, he said.

The existence of such standards was desperately felt during the fire at Shaheed-i-Mould Secretariat in January 2002, fires in the parliament building in 1989, 2002 and 2007 and the bomb blast and fire at Marriott Hotel in September 2008, he added.