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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stricter fire safety norms for hosps, nursing homes 67 Hosps Get Notice From BMC For Violation

Mumbai: Months after a fire killed 91 people at a hospital in Kolkata,thefiredepartmentof the BMC is intensifying its drive against hospitals and nursing homes. In fact, it has now completed the guidelines for nursing homes. 
    The state government had passed a resolution in the winter session last year, making it mandatory for nursing homes to obtain a no-objection certificate from the fire department. Accordingly, the fire brigade has begun framing guidelines andisexpectedtofinalizethem by the end of the month. According to an official,while guidelines for hospitals with over 100beds arein place,thefirebrigade has made new fire safety rulesfor nursing homes. 
    "Most hospitals in the city have fire department's no-objection certificatebutitwas not a requirement for nursing homes.After thestateorder,we made guidelines andcirculated them to nursing homes," said a fireofficial. 
    The guidelines include having active measures like smoke detection system, fire extinguishers and passive ones like having a broad staircase, clear exits andsoon. 
    There are approximately 1,500 nursing homes in the city. According to the new rules, a nursing home which comes for renewal every year will have to take an NOC from the fire department. Usually, the renewals happen during April and May, said officials. "As and when we are getting applications for renewal, we are forwarding them to the fire department.Thedepartmentis checking if nursing homes have the mandatory fire safety measures," said executive health officer Anil Bandiwadekar. 
    Meanwhile, the BMC is looking to intensify its drive against hospitals. "We gave noticesto67hospitalswhichwere flouting safety rules. They had been given a period of 120 days to comply with the rules. We will start inspecting these hospitals in the first week of May and those which have not complied face punishment under the Maharashtra Fire Safety Act," said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.As many as37of thesehospitalswere private,17BMC-run and 13 run by the government. The punishment could include prosecution, revocation of licence, and in some cases, closure,said an official.


The fire at AMRI, Kolkata, was a wake-up call for hospitals


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