* All existing buildings constructed before promulgation of the regulations would become under legal obligations to take measures and install all required equipment within six months

* CDA empowered to get vacated or seal any building or impose fine up to
Rs 500,000 in case of regulations violations

ISLAMABAD: The government has formally notified the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Building Standards for Fire Prevention and Life Safety 2010” and “The Islamabad Fire Prevention and Life Safety Regulations 2010” prepared by the authority to improve and regulate process to prevent and mitigate effects of disasters and emergencies especially in case of fire.

A CDA official told a meeting held on Thursday at CDA headquarters. CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi presided over the meeting attended by the members and senior officers of the authority.

Existing buildings: CDA Director Emergency and Disaster Management Ahsan Ali Mangi told the meeting that with the printing of these regulations in Official Gazette of Pakistan, all existing buildings constructed before the promulgation of the regulations would become under legal obligations to take measures and install all required equipments within six months.

Under the regulations, the CDA disaster management directorate has been empowered to survey both public and private buildings and ensure precautionary measures, he aid, adding, after completion of the inspection of a building or premises, CDA will issue notice to the owner or occupier directing him to undertake such measures as may be specified in the notice.

CDA empowered: He said now CDA had powers to get vacated or seal any building or impose fine up to Rs. 500,000 if it found any violation of new Fire Prevention and Life Safety regulations.

In case of construction of new buildings, clearance in regard to fire prevention and life safety measures shall be required from the directorate of emergency and disaster management both at the time of approval of building plan and issuance of completion certificate by the authority.

The Building Standards have been divided into three clauses including fire prevention, life safety and fire protection. The fire prevention covers the aspects pertaining to design and construction of buildings on passive fire protection measures, describing various types of building material and their fire safety rating.

The life safety provision deals with events of fire and similar emergencies, addressing construction and occupancy features that are necessary to minimise danger to life from fire, smoke, fumes or panic. The protection aspect relates to appurtenance, their related components and guidelines for selecting correct types of equipment and installations meant for fire protection of buildings depending on their classifications and types.

Elahi said CDA being the sole Civic Agency of Federal Capital Territory was responsible for protection of life and property of the inhabitants of Islamabad, in wake of natural or manmade disaster.

Islamabad faced a number of major fire incidents in the past in which many people lost their life and property worth millions of rupees.

The existence of such regulations was desperately felt in incidents, especially during the fire at Shaheed-i-Millat Secretariat in January 2002, fires in parliament building in 1989, 2002 and 2007 and bomb blast and fire at Marriott Hotel in September 2008. He said that CDA is first municipality to introduce these regulations.