Responses on behalf of Rohit Harjani, Country Manager Indian Sub-continent, Hochiki
What is the level of adoption of fire safety equipment in India?
To start with, Fire safety does not even come to mind during planning stages to an individual. It is used only by professional builders who hire Architects and various consultants and the MEP consultants who plan for minute details in a building project. Independent Residential units come in unorganised sector hence the adoption is very low. I would say it is not there at all. Gated residential villas recently attracted some attention from professional builders who have started to put fire safety equipment. Residential buildings is a mixed bag where high end apartments do use intelligent fire safety equipment inside apartments and low end buildings use local equipment in common areas of the buildings and its various floors.Proper adoption is in new commercial buildings, factories and buildings of public use where fire department is very stringent. It has been noted recently that Fire department is getting strict even with old factories and buildings to follow the fire norms which is a very good sign in terms of fire safety in our country.
How do you sell to real estate companies developing residential? How do you look at training residents/developers to use these equipment?
There are real estate developers who take intelligent fire safety as their prime responsibility which is to give the best form of safety for the dwellers. We try to educate builder lobby to use the best equipment. Sometimes it becomes a challenge but with perseverance it becomes a win-win situation for all. During small fires, the fire extinguishers are at homes to douse the fire. There are companies in India which focus on training the people living in the houses/apartments. We feel that there must be fire safety training camps to be organised by all Resident Welfare associations (RWA) who can tie up with training companies and OEMs can take this as a part of their CSR.
How can buildings be made fire-proof right at the outset, instead of waiting for casualties?
Buildings must do the following:
a) building material that is used (inflammable material must be used)
b) best safety measures must be adopted during the erection of the building
c) No use of banned material
d) Intelligent fire detection systems
e) Fire fighting systems must be linked with fire detection systems
f) Decent Voice Evacuation system.
g) THERE IS A VERY BIG NEED OF INTELLIGENT ESCAPE ROUTE LIGHTING SYSTEM.
h) MOST STRINGENT MAINTENANCE OF ALL ELECTRICAL, ELECTRONIC AND FIRE SYSTEMS.
What are the various kinds of fire safety equipment you have for different customers? Please expound.
We provide all types of fire detection systems and intelligent escape route lighting systems. Intelligent and conventional fire detection systems including special application systems like the vesda type aspiration systems, flame detectors, beam detectors and marine fire detection systems for small and big boats, fire detection systems for hazardous areas and systems for explosive areas. Besides detection, there is a range called the intelligent escape route lighting system which is LED based and works as extra low voltage system. It has been embraced with open arms by the fire industry.