Bangladesh has witnessed some of the worst industrial factory disasters in memory when the Tazreen Garments was engulfed in flames and when the Rana Plaza fell. This has harmed not just the people of the country but has severely damaged the reputation of our clothing industry to the outside world too. Then there were the fires in Puran Dhaka. In the span of just a few years, hundreds burned to death in two horrific fires. Many declared the narrow streets of Puran Dhaka and people’s lack of awareness as the reason behind such wide-spread fire. Maybe it’s true that the damage wouldn’t be so severe and more easily contained if the fire was in the relatively newer parts of Dhaka. However, the recent FR Tower fire in Banani, which is known as one of the more modern areas of Dhaka, has shown how wrong this belief is. Everyone now accepts that constructing safer buildings is the only way to save ourselves from such loss.
That is why developers are prioritizing safe & durable building construction. Every architect, engineer, and project director is putting special emphasis on building safety from the start. Be it new or old, both types of buildings have different kinds of challenges during this time. When it comes to constructing a new building, the challenge is the budget and the time limitation while for old buildings, the challenge is the consent or dissent of the present property owner. It usually takes quite a bit of money to ensure building safety. Most owners are not willing to spend on it.
Keeping these in mind, stricter safer building construction laws have been introduced now. People are trying to make their apartments safer. Architects are designing blueprints and engineers are constructing safer buildings while also considering the building’s look, durability, and construction cost in mind. According to all of them, it is best to focus on safety from the start when constructing safer buildings. Also, the following factors should be considered when constructing durable and safer buildings
- Access Control: It must be ensured that people living or working in a particular building has access to its entrance and exit. Besides this, it should also be kept in mind that people can access the data center or any room where emergency supplies are stored when needed.
- Fire Safety: Fire safety is the most important issue for every builder. A ‘fool-proof’ fire safety plan needs to be set up before beginning construction. And this plan needs to be followed at every step of the construction. Installing sufficient fire safety alarms, creating an emergency fire exit path, placing enough fire extinguishers, arranging fire drills or rehearsals from time to time; everything falls under fire safety. Fire safety is an indispensable part of any modern building.
- Internal Power Supply: The safety of the building’s internal heating or cooling system, air conditioning equipment, water pump, and the electrical power system must be ensured. Earthquakes and any other natural or man-made disaster needs to be considered when constructing safer buildings. The buildings that are at most risk are those high-rise or tall buildings that didn’t consider the safety of the structure during construction. Such a weak building framework and disregard was the main reason behind the tragic 2013 Rana Plaza disaster.
There are also some other things that should be kept in mind to ensure everyday safety
- Place metal detectors at the entrance
- Strictly monitor the entrance and exit so that people without permission can’t enter
- Monitor the underside of vehicles and their number plates
- Install gas detectors throughout the building so any gas leak can be instantly identified
- 24/7 CCTV camera surveillance to ensure safety
- Place fire resistant fire fighting pumps, smoke & heat detectors, fire extinguishers, etc. Using fire resistant electric wiring also reduces the chance of a short circuit.
It’s not like these measures only ensure building safety, rather, they also help you save water, electricity, and other similar essential elements. Along with these, a building should be constructed in such a way that it can withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. Builders need to have deeper knowledge about potential dangers when constructing safer buildings. Only then it is possible to avert future risks.