Fire brigade to start round the clock inspection of restaurants

Restaurants can now be inspected for fire safety violations 24/7
The Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 already allows for night time inspections (Representational Image, Courtesy: hungryforever.com)

For the first time, officials from the Mumbai Fire Brigade will inspect establishments for fire safety violations during the night when they are thronged by patrons and accurately highlight the potential risks.

Earlier, irrespective of an eatery’s working hours, fire officials would carry out inspections between regular office hours of 10 am to 6 pm.

The change comes in the backdrop of the Kamala Mills tragedy, in which 14 people were killed after a massive fire broke out in one of the rooftop pubs that was flouting norms. The city has witnessed a number of smaller such incidents since then.

In the aftermath of the fire, BMC set up multiple fire compliance cells to monitor fire compliance norms at commercial establishments and other buildings, and act against them if they were found violating any safety rules.

During a recent meeting with senior fire officers, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta directed the team to resort to new methods and carry out inspections at any time of the day.

“When the fire brigade mentioned that the law (Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006) authorizes them to enter and inspect establishments only between sunrise and sunset, the commissioner directed them to check what can be done so that appropriate checks can be carried out at eateries,” a fire official present at the meeting told Times of India.

Since the act already allows for round the clock inspections, fire officers don’t need to wait for any amendments to the law and can start the night time inspections immediately.

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