FIRE SAFETY REGULATION IN INDIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Disaster Management)

News-CRUX-10     29th May 2024        

Context: A recent deadly fire at a gaming centre in Rajkot, Gujarat, killed at least 32 people, highlighting safety concerns in public buildings and venues.

Fire Safety Regulation in India

  • Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016: The Union of India’s position on fire safety is that the Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 and its component Chapter 11 on “Fire Protection and Fire Safety Requirements” provides the necessary framework for State governments.
  • State Responsibility: State governments bear responsibility for fire safety under law.
  • Fire Safety Norms: Ensuring adherence to fire safety norms and standards laid down in Part 4 of the National Building Code (NBC) and incorporating mandatory provisions in the process is left to the States.
  • Constitutional Provision: Fire service comes under the state list and included in 12th schedule of the Indian Constitution dealing with Municipal functions.

oAt present, fire prevention and fire fighting services are organised by the concerned States and Union Territories (UTs), and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

Fire Safety Initiatives:

  • Scheme for Expansion and Modernization of Fire Services in the States: Launched by the Indian Government in 2023, this initiative is funded through the Preparedness and Capacity Building Funding Window under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). 

oIt aims to strengthen state fire services through 2025-26.

  • Model Bill for Fire and Emergency Services: The central government has circulated a model bill to assist states in maintaining effective fire and emergency services.
  • NDMA Guidelines: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued comprehensive guidelines detailing equipment standards, scaling, and training protocols for fire services nationwide.