Last year, about a third of the fire incidents in Mumbai happened in tall residential buildings, with 33 lives lost and 300 injured in 2023 alone.
Trends Over Years: In 2022 and 2021, similar percentages of fire calls—around 33 percent—were reported from residential buildings, indicating a persistent issue.
Major Causes: The Mumbai Fire Brigade attributes a whopping 70 to 80 percent of these fires to electrical short-circuits, often worsened by poorly maintained firefighting gear.
Expert Insights: Fire safety expert Deepak Monga believes high-rise fires are rising due to increased energy use and modern tech but stresses a need for a safety mindset shift.
Maintenance Problems: Blocked water outlets, discovered post-fires, highlight maintenance lapses, according to Monga. He suggests fire evacuation lifts in new buildings to reduce damage and risk during fires, along with regular electrical checks.
Mandatory Measures: The Fire Brigade mandates fire evacuation lifts for high-rises over 70 meters to assist firefighters during crises. Recent announcements by the Chief Minister promise revised lift guidelines, including fire evacuation lifts, for better safety.
Efforts by Authorities: The Brihan mumbai Municipal Corporation and fire brigade are pushing for mandatory electrical audits in residential buildings to tackle short-circuit issues caused by defects or faulty wiring.
Mumbai’s Tall Building Trend: Mumbai leads India’s tall building construction, hosting nearly 77 percent of structures over 150 meters. Given limited land, this trend is likely to continue, with Hyderabad, Kolkata, Noida, Gurugram, Bengaluru, and Chennai following suit, albeit with smaller shares according to a report by CBRE India.