As modern cities opt for more high rise housing and corporate spaces, India’s fire safety authorities say fire safety mechanisms must be embedded seamlessly in planning.

“We see too many steel and glass buildings that are inefficient at venting smoke that is the primary reason for death (by asphyxiation) due to fire. These buildings do not always have ventilation or water management systems that can be used by fire brigades during a fire emergency,” said Nimit Sheth, president of an Indian fire safety authority.

He said stakeholders including architects, builders, construction firms, fire safety advisors and others were needed to discuss the issue.
“We also are researching building materials, design and new technology in collaboration with universities.”

MF Dastoor, chief fire officer of Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) said: “The first requirement is strict adherence to prevailing laws and monitoring. We have found non-maintenance of fire safety systems and quality control are major issues at the moment.”