Buildings’ survey ordered

ISLAMABAD, Sept 14: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has ordered survey of buildings to ascertain whether they are following international fire safety standards.

He issued these directives at a meeting in Islamabad on Friday.

The minister asked the Islamabad district magistrate to issue a binding provision under Section 144 aimed at allowing the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) fire branch and capital administration to carry out surveys.

It was also decided that Civil Defence, CDA and Islamabad administration will launch a week-long awareness campaign, starting from September 20, aimed at educating the public on the importance of fire safety measures, and to raise awareness concerning preventive methods to protect their building from a fire.

Based on available data, 50 per cent of fire incidents take place due to substandard electric wiring. Therefore, it has been made compulsory for buildings in Islamabad to receive a certificate for satisfactory electric wiring and clarification of buildings. The meeting noted that the present law was unable to cater to growing requirements in densely populated areas, and cannot effectively control and implement the 1934 Factory Act, Civil Defence Act.

Interior Secretary K.M. Siddiq Akbar has been directed to draft legislation (amendment) whereby violation of safety procedures will be punishable for three years with Rs500,000 fine or the seizure of property.

All factory owners must display list of inflammable material outside their buildings and must designate an official to work as liaison with authorities.

Chief Commissioner Tariq Pirzada has been asked to appoint an electrical inspector who will issue certificates on quality of wiring and proper clarification of properties.