mid-day editorial: Follow safety norms or you'll be under fire

Sep 30, 2017, 06:06 IST | mid-day correspondent

Three years ago, RK Studios in Chembur was advised to put in place basic fire safety equipment, but this counsel went unheeded. The studio is now paying the price after a massive fire struck the sets on September 16. The Mumbai Fire Brigade has since issued a prosecution notice to the studio management for non-compliance of fire safety norms, while cancelling a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) it had issued to the studio earlier.

A report in this paper stated that department officials said in 2014, after the studio was upgraded, that the management had approached the Mumbai Fire Brigade for an NOC.

At that time, the management was suggested to install equipment, including sprinklers, alarms and smoke detectors. But the studio did not comply.

This should be a wake-up call for other studios in the city. In this case, there was no shooting on when the fire broke out, so thankfully, injuries and casualties were averted.

Studios usually are a maze of rooms; they are huge, sprawling structures. If there is a blaze, there is danger of it spreading rapidly through the studio, fuelled by all the flammable material around. It makes it all the more important that fire safety norms are complied with.

Studios need to keep their fire exits unobstructed and clear so there is a path of escape. Fire extinguishers and smoke detection units are also necessary. Alarms are a must.

Several studios have commercial units functioning out of the space, like offices housed in small galas, or even small spaces simply lying vacant in the premises. These too need proper firefighting equipment. The fire department also needs to follow up on whether its recommendations have been followed. It should not take a fire to make them check on this.

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