Arun Singh, chief fire officer (CFO), of Gautam Budh Nagar told TOI, “From our first round of findings, most pipes and sprinklers in Noida and Greater Noida’s apartments are choked because of a white layer of salt deposit in the pipes. When we try to test the efficacy of the system, at most times, the sprinklers in the top floors fail to work. In places, the pump has corroded because of lack of servicing. Most apartments need some work or the other in their fire hydrant system. We will continue the audit in the months to come.”
So far, the fire department has completed the audit of 19 apartments in Noida and Greater Noida and in July, it will cover 32 more apartments.
Singh added that they started the work in April but had to take a break due to the pandemic. “We have now restarted the work and hope to complete a batch of apartments each month,” he said.
Even as the fire department has started running audits in small batches, complaints continue to pour in from residents of various apartments claiming their fire safety system to be outdated.
Amarjeet Rathod, a resident of Gaur City, said, “Our fire system is outdated and needs upgrading. The approach road is not broad enough to allow fire brigades. We have submitted written complaints with the fire department. The officials who come to check the system, just change the sticker to approve validity of the fire safety measures. However, on ground, the system is far from functional. In case of a fire, the guards use other methods to douse the flames as the sprinklers are not working.”
Abhishek Kumar, president of Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA), said that they have urged the fire department to conduct the fire audit because the fire safety system of most apartments have already collapsed. “The city does not have fire brigades with so much access that they can reach floors as high as 23. So, we must be cautious and prevent accidents,” he said.
Meanwhile, the residents of Noida Extension have drawn up a list of apartments where fire audit is required on an urgent basis. “Many apartments in Noida Extension don’t have fire safety systems in place. Most apartments here have at least 20 floors and safety is being compromised. Frequent fire drills, sprinkler checks, cleaning up of pumps should be made mandatory, said Manish Kumar, vice president of NEFOWA.