JAMMU – Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered a fire safety audit of all hotels across the Union Territory, officials said on Monday.
The decision to carry out the audit was taken on the instructions of Lt Governor G C Murmu, an official spokesman said.
“A fire safety audit of all hotels and guest houses across Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted by a five-member team of officers to be constituted by the Divisional Administration Kashmir and Jammu with officers drawn from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Revenue, Tourism, Power and Tourism Development Authorities.
“The teams will submit the hotel-wise fire safety details to the respective Divisional Commissioners by November 9. The hotels found to be deficient or not conforming to the fire safety norms will be required to take corrective action and address the gaps, if any, by November 30,” the spokesman said after a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam.
With the onset of winter, the requirement of electricity and heating gadgets increases in homes and other establishments, especially hotels, and any laxity or ignorance in handling these gadgets can put human life to risk. It has been invariably noticed that the fire incidents increase during the winter months.
In order to check fire incidents, it is essential that appropriate safety and control measures are in place, the spokesman said, adding that it is towards this end that government has worked out a multi-pronged strategy aimed at fire risk assessment, identifying fire hazards, determining fire safety and control measures and having in place evacuation plan or procedures in hotels to tackle any emergent situation or crisis.
He said the audit would cover inspection of hotel premises to ascertain fire safety measures or equipment in place and adequacy of the storage facilities for inflammable substances like kerosene oil, cooking gas, petrol or diesel and electricity systems.
He said the Fire and Emergency Services Department would organise training for the hotel staff from first week of December about various aspects of fire prevention, protection and safety.
Also, the Director General, J&K Fire and Emergency Services Department would project the requirements of additional fire fighting equipment to strengthen the fire stations located in tourist destinations of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg and Srinagar in Kashmir Valley and Patnitop, Bhaderwah and Reasi in Jammu division to the Home Department for its early procurement, the spokesman said.