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Electrical & Fire Audit in Housing Society – is this Mandatory?


Why do we need to conduct “Electrical Audit” in housing society? Is this really a mandatory requirement like conducting a structural audit?  

Before we answer this, let us ask ourselves “Are we going to make provision for safety of our family only if there are legal compulsion to do so or we should make enough provision to safe-guards ourselves irrespective of what legal statue says?

Let me remind you that there are several safety & security incidences taking place in residential, industrial plants and commercial building of late mainly in large metros, reasons are not known to many excepts for establishments who hire specialized experts in this domain. 

A massive fire took place on July 4, 2018 in a cracker factory situated in Warangal, Telangana. The fire caused the death of 10 workers who were trapped inside the factory. A short circuit is seen as the possible cause of the massive fire that broke out in the factory.

A dastardly fire accident took place at ESIC Kamgar Hospital, Marol, Mumbai claiming the lives of 10 people on December 17, 2018. As many as 140 people were rescued from the spot. An investigation that was conducted two days later revealed that the fire was caused due to sparks flowing from a welding machine that was being operated nearby. No safety measures were adopted by the hospital and the two workers who were operating the welding workers absconded from the spot.

Around 90% fires in Mumbai region are due to short-circuit as per the recent article published in TOI. Thousand have lost lives in short-circuit in Mumbai in the last 20 years. The Statistics analysis of the data sourced from the NCRB annual report since 2012 to 2015 reveals that, the Fire accidents due to Electrical Short Circuits accounts for 6 to 13% of the Total Fire accidents. Mumbai city ranked second in fires caused due to short circuit, with 418 deaths over 10 years, according to NCRB data, while Delhi recorded the most short-circuit related fatalities (424). Ahmedabad ranked 3rd with 260 casualties in 2016-15.

However, we have not yet learnt the lesson and do not pay attention to the importance of the “Electrical & Fire Audit” (here provide the for electrical energy audit) hand Fire audit. There is an urgent need for thorough electrical audit by a competent engineer, checking the current capacity v/s the connected load, insulation etc.

At the time of construction, the developer / builder will provide a define electrical load considering the basis needs of electrical equipments. However, over a period we keep increasing the electrical installation but do not check as to whether our electrical wiring, provided load or capacity is sufficient to meet the requirement. The problems are associated with power quality within the building and the amount of electrical loads at a time of building erection and loads getting added without doing an analysis if the building wiring provided can handle the extra load. The problems could be due to bad earthing, incorrect wiring, and deficient current carrying capacity of wiring, very old electrical wiring, and unsafe electrical wiring.

Other challenges faced by any establishment is continuously rising Energy Costs & Ever increasing electricity bills. The electrical safety audit will help you in identifying the electrical loads and who seep energy without your knowledge. It will help you to identify them and try and regulate them either by adding some additional devices or by changing with a better technology.

Electrical Audits shall be ideally done every 2 years by engaging certified / qualified agency like PowerTech Energy Solutions to get status of electrical equipments if they are working as per requirement as no one in these busy times find time to check health of these equipments.

Similarly, the Fire and Safety Audit is an examination of the premises and relevant documents to ascertain how the premises are being managed regarding fire safety. The purpose of a Fire Safety Audit is to check whether all the provisions are made as per the norms and most importantly they are in perfect working condition as and when the need arises. Fire Safety audit is an effective tool for assessing fire safety status in industries, laboratories, office, hotel, malls, hospitals, schools etc. The audit helps to identify the areas for improvement in fire safety measures in fire prevention and protection and mitigation system in case of fire. The audit provides an action plan which is a useful for fire prevention and mitigation and emergency preparedness. As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention Act, 2006, a Fire safety Audit should be done twice a year (Jan & July) by the certified / licensed agency. 

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