Statutory Provision (fire safety regulations):
Section 38 of Factory Act requires to prevent outbreak of fire and its spread, both internally and externally and to provide and maintain (1) means of escape for all persons in the event of fire and (2) The necessary equipment and facilities for extinguishing fire. Workers’ training is also required.
Rule 66 of Gujarat Factories Rules (GFR) required sufficient fire exits, width and height at least 1 and 2 metres respectively, one staircase for less than 20 workers on any floor and two staircases for more than 20 workers or explosive or highly inflammable materials on any floor and the availability of fire escape stair within 45.7m along the line of travel and at an angle less than 45 degree from the horizontal.
Rule 66A of the GFR: It provides as follows
Various fire fighting arrangements are suggested under 13 heads. Two Schedules are given to list first aid Fire Fighting Equipment (FFE) and equipment to be provided with Trailer Pump. Their brief account is as under:
- Serious Fire and Explosion Hazards:
- All process, storage, equipment, plants etc. should be in segregated buildings.
- Minimum number of employees should be exposed at a time.
- Fire prone area should be separated by fire resistant walls. It should be so constructed that in case of fire, it can be easily isolated.
- Ventilation dusts, pneumatic conveyors, AC plant etc. should have flame arrester, flameproof damper or automatic fire extinguisher electrically interlocked with heat sensitive smoke detectors.
- For storage of material, passage width between two piles should be more than 90 cm. And clearance between ceiling and the pile top should be more than 2 mtr.
- Access for fire fighting:
- Unobstructed layout of plants and building for easy fire fighting.
- Doors and windows on external walls for easy access inside the building.
- Protection against lightening:
Lightening arrester shall be provided for
- Building having flammable or explosive material.
- Storage tanks for flammable liquids.
- Grain elevator to avoid dust explosion.
- Tall structure where gas, fume, dust, lint etc may be present.
- Electrical switchyard, outdoor transformers and substations.
- Precautions against ignition:
Accumulation of explosive air mixture shall be avoided and prevented from fire by-
- Segregated electrical machinery or by keeping them flame or explosion proof.
- Avoidance of static charge to a dangerous extent.
- Non-ferrous shoes to avoid spark by friction.
- Prohibition of smoking, lighting or carrying matches or lighters etc.
- Transmission belts without iron fasteners.
- Avoidance of open flames, sparks, over heated surfaces, radiant heat and ignition from physical or chemical reaction.
- Spontaneous ignition:
- Avoid air pocket and ensure good ventilation.
- Safe distance in heaps of material susceptible to fire.
- Open ground storage at minimum distance of 10 meter from process or storage building.
- Gas cylinders:
- Rooms shall have adequate ventilation.
- Open storage to be protected from direct sun-rays, excessive heat, continuous dampness and away from highly flammable substances, furnaces and hot process.
- Storage of Flammable Liquids:
- Quantity minimisation.
- Suitable containers with close covers.
- Liquid of F.P below 21 degree centigrade shall not be stored more than 20 litres in any room.
- Fire resisting construction with fire walls and self closing fire doors.
- Storage of large quantities as per Petroleum Rules, 1976. Underground storage is preferred.
- Steps to prevent leakage.
- Flammable dust, gas, vapour, waste etc:
- Steps to remove or prevent accumulation to dangerous extent.
- Daily disposal.
- Metal containers with covers.