Fire Protection



FIRE PROTECTION AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS (CHAPTER XVII)

122. Definitions

In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, — (a) "exit' means passage, channel or means of egress from any place of occupancy in a building to a place of safety through an escape route which includes a room exit, protected corridor, lobby, enclosed staircase or ramp leading to a final exit.

(b) “final exit” means an exit from a building to an open place at ground level.

(c) "travel distance" means the distance to be travelled from any point in a building to either vertical or horizontal escape route, or external escape route, or final exit.

123. Fire Protection

Every building for residential uses of fifteen and a half metres and above in height, and buildings of other uses and buildings with basement shall be provided with adequate means of exit and all arrangement for protection in case of fire.

124. General exit requirements

(1) The following general requirement shall apply to all exits: (a) exit may be both horizontal and vertical and shall be free from any obstruction,

(b) no building shall be altered so as to reduce the number, width or protection of exits to less than what is required under these rules,

(c) exits shall be clearly visible and routes to reach exit shall be clearly marked.

(d) all exits shall be properly illuminated,

(e) fire fighting equipments shall, where provided along exits, be suitably located and clearly marked so as not to obstruct the exit way and there shall be clear indication about its location from either side of the exit,

(f) alarm devices shall be installed to ensure prompt evacuation through exits,

(g) all exits shall provide continuous means of egress to the exterior of a building or to an exterior open space leading to a street or means of access,

(h) exits shall be so arranged that they may be reached without passing through another occupied unit.

(2) An exit shall be a door-way of a room, corridor, passage-way to staircase, ramp or a verandah or terrace which has access to the street or to the roof of a building. An exit may also include a horizontal exit leading to an adjoining building at the same level.

(3) Lifts and escalators shall not be considered as exits. However, if the lift lobby and shaft is recommended as per requirement of West Bengal Fire Services Act, it may be considered as fire escape route.

(4) All basements shall have a minimum of two exits. Ramps to the basement shall also be considered as exits.

125. Arrangements of exits

(1) Exits shall be so located that the travel distance shall not exceed - (a) 22.5 m., in the case of a residential building or an educational building or an institutional building.

(b) 30 m., in the case of an assembly building or a business building or a mercantile building or an industrial building or a storage building.

(2) For floors with sprinklers which are not part of the requirements for that floor and occupancy, the travel distance in sub-rule (1) may be increased by 50 per cent

(3) The travel distance to an exit from the dead end of a corridor shall not exceed half the distance specified in sub-rule (1), except in an educational building or an assembly building or an institutional building in which case it shall not exceed 6 m.

(4) Whenever more than one exit is required for any room space or floor of a non residential building, exits shall be placed as remote from each other as possible and shall be arranged to provide direct access in separate directions from any point in the area served.

126. Requirements regarding staircases

All buildings referred to in rule 124 shall be provided with such number of staircases as the Municipal Commissioner may require. Under no circumstances, the number of staircases shall be less than two in the case of a building of more than twenty m. in height and one of them being on the external face of the building and shall be enclosed type as per requirement of West Bengal Fire Services Act. In case the staircase/staircases are not facing external surface of the building or not having ventilation shaft, mechanical ventilation shall be provided, if required.

127. Minimum Width provisions

The following provisions for minimum width shall be made - Table- 8A

Category of Building Height of the Building
(Mtrs)
Width of the Stairway No. of Staircase
  Upto 7.00 1.00 1
  Above 7.00&Upto 10.00 1.20 1
  Above 10.00 &Upto 12.50 1.35 1
              Residential Above 12.50 &Upto 15.50 1.35 1
  Above 15.50 &Upto 20.00 1.25 2
  Above20.00 & Upto 25.50 1.25 2
  Above 25.50 &Upto 40.00 1.25 2
  40.00 and above 1.50 2

However, for residential building not having more than three tenements or 500 sq. m. per floor (whichever is less) one staircase of 1.50 m. of width may be permitted upto a building height of 25.5 m. If in any case, the floor area or the number of tenements exceed the above value, the number of staircases should be increased as per the prescribed Table No. 8A. Table-8B

Category of Building Area per floor Width of the Stairway (Mtr) Minimum No. of Staircase (Height upto 12.5 Mtrs.) Minimum No.of Staircase(Height Above 12. 5 Mtrs.)
 Educational Upto 500 sq. m. 
Above 500 sq. m.

   1.35

    2.0

   1

   2

   2

   2

 Assembly Upto 500 sq. m.
Above 500 sq. m.

   1.50

   2.0

   1

   2

   2

   2

 Institutional Upto 500 sq. m. 
Above 500 sq. m.

   1.50

   2.0

   1

   2

   2

   2

 Business Upto 500 sq. m. 
Above 500 sq. m.

   1.50

   1.50

   1

   2

   2

   2

 Mercantile (Retail) Upto 500 sq. m.
Above 500 sq. m.

   1.80

   2.00

   2

   2

   2

   2

 

However, buildings for marriage halls, banquet halls, multipurpose hall etc. shall have at least two staircases for any height and floor area

Table 8C Minimum width provision for passage and corridors

Category of passage / corridor Minimum width (m.)
Passage connecting vertical exit and the tenement / units Not less than the width of each stairway specified under Table 8A and 8B
Passage within an apartment 0.9
Passage giving access to shops in a mercantile building
a) shops on one side only
b) shops on both side

 

2.0
3.0

Passage in a business building 2.5

128. Other requirements

In respect of matters relating to the fire prevention and fire protection, for which provisions have not been made in this chapter, the provisions of the latest edition of the National Building Code and latest edition of the National Electrical Code and B.I.S. Code shall apply.

129. Consultation with the Director of Fire Services before granting permission to erect a building

No permission for the erection, addition to or alteration of, any building other than a residential building of less than fifteen and a half metres in height or a building with basement shall be granted unless the Municipal Commissioner in consultation with the Director of Fire Services of the Government of West Bengal or any officer specially empowered by the Director for this purpose is satisfied about the provisions of means of exits and about the arrangements for protection against fire proposed for the building in terms of West Bengal Fire Services Act, 2002 (W.B. Act XXVIII of 2002) read with West Bengal Fire Services Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Rules 1996.

130. Power to Municipal Commissioner to ask for sufficient means of exits

Where on the basis of the report of the Director of Fire Services or any other officer specially empowered by him the Municipal Commissioner is of the opinion that the means of exit from any building is insufficient to allow safe exit in the event of fire, or the in-built fire protection measures are inadequate he may by written notice require the owner or occupier of the building to alter or reconstruct any existing staircase in such manner, or to provide such additional or emergency staircases as he may determine, or such fire protection measures, as he may, in consultation with the Director of Fire Services or any other officer specially empowered by him or otherwise, suo moto, determine.

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