Making Fire Evacuation Lifts Mandatory
Maharashtra’s Energy Department has issued a circular to make installation of Fire Evacuation Lifts mandatory in high–rise buildings of 70-meters and above in height across Maharashtra. Such buildings will have to put in place the necessary infrastructure, such as Fire Evacuation Lifts, which provide a much safer and more secure option. This circular is set to begin a new chapter of fire evacuation.

Maharashtra has become the first State in India to make Fire Evacuation Lifts mandatory for buildings 70-meters and above since January 2018 in what is termed as the solution to mounting emergencies during fire-fighting and provide a safe evacuation mechanism for people and assist Fire Officers to save lives and assets.

The new Evacuation Safety Circular issued by the Maharashtra State’s Energy Department in conjunction with the Municipal Corporation and the Fire Department is a step towards improving evacuation routes for residents and a safer and faster mode for fire officers to reach the higher floors during fire emergencies.

As part of the evacuation solutions, many developers of high-rise buildings in cities like Mumbai have installed or are currently opting to install non-standardized or low graded Fire Evacuation solutions/Lifts. However, these non-standard Fire Solutions/ Evacuation Lifts may not provide the right security and safety to people in the event of a fire due to compromise in quality by the builders and regular passenger lift makers.

On the other hand, Fire Evacuation Lifts are a far more secure and safer option as they are designed and developed by specialized teams of a Fire Evacuation Lift Manufacturer. Such lifts protect and enable fire-fighters to reach higher floors faster and evacuate a group of 10-18 people of all ages and abilities including pets at a given time in less than three minutes (almost 100 people in 30 minutes approximately). They also enable the Emergency Response Team (ERT) to reach any floor within a minute.

As the fire evacuation lifts are loaded with vital fire-fighting features incorporating modern state of art technologies integrated with Building Management System (BMS), its effective enforcement would be turning point in the fire evacuation concepts. Further, it will provide a much awaited solution to the Fire Brigades across cities in Maharashtra and the ERTs in combating emergency fire situations in high-rise buildings, as they can use the ‘Fire Evacuation Lifts’ to reach to higher floors rapidly to evacuate people and save assets.

As per the New Circular, henceforth, it is mandatory for the responsible entity / builder / developer / architect to submit the Building Plan with Clear Demarcation with respect to the strategic location of the Fire Evacuation Lift along with specific dimensions and construction of shaft and technical specifications to the lift inspector at the time of permission for erection of the lift.