Fire License in West Bengal
Fire License in West Bengal
Fire accidents have time and again tarnished a flourishing business and taken the lives of people, mandating the need for regulations concerning the safety of buildings of all kinds. India witnesses an average of 25,000 preventable deaths due to fires and related causes in a year, blame it on the disdain towards the specified rules. The different State Governments process the issue of fire license in this country. In West Bengal, the Fire and Emergency Services department of the State Government administers the affairs associated with it. The provisions concerning fire license are drafted in the West Bengal Fire Service Act of 1950, which had a few amendments over the years. In this article, we look at the various aspects of obtaining fire license in West Bengal in detail.
Fire safety regulations are in place to ensure that the buildings are constructed and maintained with the appropriate safeguards to prevent the occurrence of fire or contain the fire occurring in high-risk buildings. These provisions find its place in Section 2(HB) of West Bengal Fire Services Act, 1950, which includes high rise buildings greater than 14.5 meters in height.
The powers concerning licensing and fire safety are entrusted with the Director-General of Fire and Emergency Services and the Deputy Director for Fire Services.
Application for Fire License
Fire license is obtained for forming new establishments, where the purpose of the formation is to pursue the manufacture and storage of dangerous and hazardous inflammable items. An applicant from the Northern part of Bengal must apply for availing the license at the Office of the Director-General of Fire Services, located in Siliguri. At the same time, the application for the districts of South Bengal must be filed at the office of the Collector in the License Section of Fire Brigade Department, located at Mirza Galib Street in Kolkata. The issuance and renewal of fire license will take place at the place of receipt of application. Before heading with the other aspects of registration, here’s the address for both the locations specified above:
Dy. Director, Fire Services,
Siliguri Fire Station Complex,
Station Feeder Road,
Ph.: 0353 2502222/1867
13D, Mirza Galib Street,
Kolkata – 700 016,
Ph.: 033 22252222-8
Attachments for Application
The following documents must be attached with the application:
- Two copies of the Site Plan of warehouse/workshop drawn to a scale of 1 cm: 1 meter.
- A statement depicting the name and maximum quantity of hazardous materials to be maintained and/or processed in the premises.
- A statement depicting particulars of fire services, which includes the number of full-time fire personnel and their qualifications, names of fire prevention and fire safety appliances in the building.
- A statement providing the structure and nature of occupancy within the proposed warehouse/workshop.
- Fire Safety Certificate (if the building norms mandate this requirement).
Classification of Establishments
Establishments are categorized as A, B and C depending on the operational areas of the high-risk building, among other aspects. The classification is herewith specified for your reference:
Class A – refers to buildings above the height of 14.5 meters or more than 5000 cubic meters.
Class B – refers to high-risk buildings with a minimum height of seven meters and a maximum of 14.5 meters, with a coverage area spanning between 5000-2000 cubic meters.
Class C – refers to buildings below the height of seven meters or below 2000 cubic meters.
Fire Safety Certificate
Fire Safety certificates are issued to ensure that the buildings are built and maintained with essential safeguards, so that fire accident of any kind is abated. This includes all high rise buildings greater than the height of 14.5 meters.
The application for fire certificate (for North Bengal and South Bengal applicants) must be made to the same address as that of fire license.
Documents to be attached
The applicant has to submit the following documents while applying for the fire safety certificate:
- Two copies of the architectural layout signed by the owner/occupier and the architect. The sketch must comprise of a site plan, key plan, floor-wise plan, section plan, proof plan and floor wise area statement.
- Plan of the building with its occupancy and use.
- Structural Plan.
- Ownership/tenancy documents.
Renewal of Fire Safety Certificate
The fire safety certificate must be renewed upon expiry. Renewal of certificate prompts the requirement of the following documents:
- Copy of Checklist against FSR (Fire Safety Registration) issued by the concerned personnel.
- Copy of the endorsed Fire Safety Certificate (FSC).
To renew a fire certificate visit the official government website rendering these services. The procedure for the same is as follows:
Step 1: First things First
The applicant must first visit the concerned website; here is the link for the same – https://eservices.wb.gov.in/portal/web/guest/application-for-granting/renewal-of-fire-license
Step 2: The Renewal Option
Select the option “Application for renewal of fire safety certificate” from the e-services tab on the left-hand side of the page.
Step 3: Log in
Login into the portal by providing the username and password of the user.
Step 4: Save/submitted FSR
The applicant must now choose the option “Work on Saved/Submitted FSR.”
Step 5: Mode of Submission
Choose the option “Submitted in online mode,” to work on the applications submitted online.
Step 6: Apply Online
From the “View details” option, select the option “Apply online” to open the form of “Application for Renewal of Fire Safety Certificate.”
Step 7: Edit
The page will direct to a form which is auto-filled based on the data previously entered by the applicant. The applicant can start editing by clicking the “Edit” button. After doing so, click the “Save and Next” option to proceed to the next stage.
Step 8: The Final Act
The following page, which includes a mere verification of the documents and the data uploaded by the applicant, will effectively conclude the proceedings. Click the “Save and Submit” option to save the e-form. The applicant may choose to take a print of the submitted application.
After the applicant submits the e-form, it will be automatically addressed to the concerned Department/Directorate, who in-turn will get on with the renewal process. The applicant will receive the Unique Identification Number (UIN) for future references.
The renewed certificate will be valid for a year from the date of renewal.
Tracking of Applications
To track the application status, follow the below procedure:
Step 1: Website
All major statutory processes are processed through the website, which is the same in this case. The applicant may initiate the process of status-check by visiting the same website as specified above.
Step 2: Saved/Submitted FSR
As a three-fold procedure, click on “Work on Saved/Submitted FSR,” and choose the option “Submitted Application.” Now, choose the option “Submitted in online mode” among the options provided.
Step 3: View Submitted
Now, click on the option “View Submitted Application”. Track the status by selecting the option “View Detailed Status.”
How does it get processed?
Here’s an overview of the procedures pursued by the department.
Step 1: Address to DFO
The application, upon its submission, will reach the respective DFO.
Step 2: Passing it on
The DFO will in-turn forward the same to the Head Assistant after assigning an inspecting officer.
Step 3: Preparation of Manual File
The Head Assistant formulates a manual file and addresses the application to the respective inspecting officer.
Step 4: Inspection and Reporting
The Inspecting Officer receiving the application will inspect the building after intimating the applicant of the date of inspection. Based on the inspection, the concerned officer will prepare a report.
Step 5: Recommendation
The inspector will then state his/her views and recommend the renewal on finding that the building has adopted fire and life safety measures on par with the National Building Code and applicable building by-laws stated by the local municipal authorities.
Step 6: Back to the DFO
The concerned inspecting officer will forward the report to the DFO.
Step 7: Issue of Certificate
The DFO will issue the renewal certificate on finding that the safety measures found by the inspecting officer are concurrent with the requirements. In case of any discrepancies, the DFO will address the application to the Deputy Director, who will examine the details and forward it to the Director. Now, in this case, the Director will be in charge of issuing the renewed Fire Safety Certificate.
Section 2 of the West Bengal Fire Services Act has categorized the following buildings into the high-risk category:
- Building or part of a building utilized for maintenance, handling, manufacturing or processing of highly combustible or explosive materials or products which are prone to fire incidents.
- Building or part of buildings utilized for maintenance, handling, manufacturing or processing of materials or products which may trigger toxic fumes or result in an explosion.
- Building or part of buildings utilized for manufacturing or processing of materials or products by making use of highly corrosive or noxious alkalis, acids or other liquids/chemicals which has the potential to cause an explosion or produce toxic, irritant or corrosive fumes or gases.
- Building or part of a building utilized for maintenance, handling, manufacturing or processing of materials producing explosive mixtures of dust, which may risk the splitting up of such materials into fine particles due to spontaneous ignition.
- Building or part of a building utilized for storage, when pressurized with a specific percentage of acetylene, ammonia, carbon-di-oxide, chlorine, hydrogen, methyl oxide, phosgene, sulphur dioxide, illuminating and natural gases or gases of any other kinds which has the potential to explode or emit toxic or cryogenic fumes or gases.
- Building or part of buildings utilized for the maintenance and handling of hazardous and highly flammable liquids and liquefiable gases.
- Building or part of a building utilized for maintenance and handling of hazardous substances other than liquids, which includes wool and cotton.
- Building or part of a building meant for the manufacture of ammunition and fireworks.
- Building or part of a building meant for the manufacture of artificial flowers and synthetic leather.
- Building or part of a building constructed as a housing complex with more than eight dwelling units.
- Building or part of a building of an underground structure.
- Building or part of a building utilized as a power generation and distribution centre, transformer house, industrial switch-gear room, major electrical installation or telephone exchange.
- Building or part of a building utilized as airport terminal/hangers, railway station, car shed and yard.
- Building or part of a building constructed as a hotel, restaurant, club with bar facilities, parlour with sauna-bath facilities, guest-house and dharmasalas.
- Building that can capacitate multiple persons.
- Building or part of a building meant for public entertainment and assembly.
- Building or part of a building constructed as a hospital, nursing home, sanatorium or laboratory.
- Building or part of a building utilized as library, museum or archaeological/research centre.
- Building or part of a building utilized as shopping complex, market, Katra or a fire-work outlet.
Post by Sreeram Viswanath
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