Vulnerable to fire. Fire safety in Ukraine

Беззащитны перед огнем. Пожарная безопасность в Украине

Fire alarms in Ukrainian homes faulty

After a fire in a children’s camp in Odessa, everything suddenly started to wonder about the status of fire safety systems.

In different regions officials warn of urgently organized inspections. But check out nothing special, says Valery Litvinski in No. 35 of the magazine Reporter. And firefighters, and residents admit that the majority of Ukrainian multi-storey buildings fire alarms on paper there, but in fact they are not.

After the fire at the Odessa camp Victoria, which killed three children, the Department of Public service on emergency situations in Odessa region reported pretty creepy details. It turns out that at the time of the fire at camp the latest sound-light fire alarm was not working for several months — it was intentionally disabled.

Firefighters checked the camp in June 2017 and revealed violations, in particular, disabled the alarm. The contract with the company Ukrtechpostach, which was to serve this system, the camp broke. Responsible for fire safety the person was fined and received the instruction about elimination of violations, but nothing was done. According to the experts, for maintenance of the alarm throughout the camp leadership has regretted about 1.5 thousand UAH per month. In the end, the death of children.

This is no exception

But really the problems with the fire alarm, failure to comply with fire safety regulations is widespread. Pavel Markov lives in an apartment building in the Kievsky district Poznyaki. The house is relatively new — in 2010, commissioned and equipped with modern fire alarm system. Available smoke sensors, valves, smoke extraction, Central controller. But when there was a fire in one of the apartments, the system has not worked. “People were alarmed, the night that do not, three floor was badly smoke, it was impossible to breathe. The responding fire Department said that this system never works,” says Paul in conversation with the Correspondent.

In the end, it turned out that the fire alarm in the house just not connected, the requirements of the management of the building company to fix the problem were ignored. Meanwhile, the remote alarm turned into shelves for flowers that are kept by the Concierge. Well, at least some part of the system used, but more than a thousand residents of the house remain in danger.

Residents of the 20-storeyed building on the street Belitskaya, 18, in Kiev, was more fortunate. In their house, luckily no fire happened, but a fire alarm also not working. Member of the audit Commission of the Association of condominiums houses (ajoah) Natalia Naumenko told the Correspondent that the failure of the fire alarm residents identified during the transfer of the house from the housing Department to the balance ajoah. “The selection Committee was signed that the fire alarm seems to be there, the balance of her housing Department have set ourselves, but not connected in the operation of the document she typed, but really — no. When we took the house on balance, these shortcomings are pointed out, firefighters were called to in the act was painted, we have documented all this is that the system is unusable. Now, struggling with the Appartments, so they all completed,” — said Naumenko. Disputes with the Builder have been going on for four years, until Kyivmiskbud, according to the representative of the condominium, in every possible way evaded the execution of the works.

Беззащитны перед огнем. Пожарная безопасность в Украине


As to be arranged in the system

According to state construction standards of Ukraine, the fire alarm must be installed in buildings with a height of 10 floors and above. In them settling system chimney: special shaft runs through the whole house and each floor is installed a valve to remove smoke. Also in the common corridors and in the hallway of each apartment are installed smoke detectors — alarm detectors. The whole system is switched successively and displayed on the remote from which the signal is transmitted to the observation post of fire protection.

When an alarm is triggered opens the valve on the floor of the fire and the fan on the roof sucking the smoke out of this hallway so people can safely evacuate from the floor. Also the sound alarm is activated the siren warning that the house is on fire and people need to leave.

The system must be monitored. Fire sensors can dust, break. And due to the fact that the system is powered by the chain, the failure of even one element leads to the fact that all the alarm stops working. To maintain operation of the facility condominiums or home management company must conclude a contract with the service company, specializing in fire alarms. The cost for their services is not so high — from 500 to several thousand hryvnia per month for maintenance of one home. This amount is divided by all residents and is included in the tariff for the service of the house. That is plus a few hryvnia in every receipt.

Blame the people?

The State service for emergency situations note: according to government regulation, fire inspectors do not inspect residential homes. They can conduct an audit only if the condominium or the management company the house themselves and asked about it. As it happens, according to the chief of sector of interaction with mass media of management of gschs in Kiev region Victoria Ruban, infrequently.

In gschs consider: fire alarm fails in the first place the fault of the residents themselves. “All the houses high-rise buildings, which are now put in operation, equipped with fire alarms and other means of fire safety, but in most cases they destroy. People bought the apartment, begins to make repairs, and almost every this alarm in his apartment destroys. Accordingly, the entire system stops working. The alarm is switched sequentially through the chain, the system for each apartment does not work standalone. To affect this we have no chance,” he complained in comments Ruban Told.

According to her, as tenants often do not want to pay a service company for the care of fire alarms. This leads to a situation when the system is installed, but not connected to the remote fire protection.

And if the SSES spent mass checks, the service would have been accused of corruption and pressure on business, the shrug in the Department.

Cunning developers

Naumenko agrees that the problem with the destruction of the security system by the residents during the repairs in the apartments there. But, in her opinion, the key problem is not in the tenant and the developer. “When a man receives the keys to the apartment and enters into a contract for service at home, it is necessary to prescribe that the owners are forbidden to carry out the dismantling of the fire safety systems. Then it would be anybody there did not climb, no repair”, — said the representative of the condominium.

In her opinion, at the stage of building a house the Builder saves on the fire safety system and due to the fact that after commissioning he passes the house on the first balance their own housing Department, and then a condominium or management company, you receive the opportunity to legalize violations. “If a condominium was the first day, we would have it the Builder was not accepted. And since there was a layer in the form of private housing Department — they don’t care what make,” says Naumenko.

In her house on the street Belitskaya, 18, to date there is only 90% of the sensors, but the developer assures that when he commissioned the house, everything was in place, and then at the time of transfer from one organization to the other — had disappeared. “They mean that these people somewhere took off, still any situation come up. In fact it is blurring the eyes of the buyer. The documents are all there, but physically there was not any of these systems. We have only one freight Elevator have a fire safety system, elevators and such nine,” — said Naumenko.

One of the experts on fire safety conducting the examination of construction projects in Kiev, confirmed in conversation with the Correspondent that the most important stage for the subsequent normal operation of the fire alarm system is the delivery of houses in operation.

According to him, in 2011, with the entry into force of the law of Ukraine on regulation of urban development, the state fire supervision took the function of acceptance of the completed construction projects. To date, the fire protection system into operation takes the State architectural and construction control (GASK), no specialized fire inspector.

“Construction of the customer interested as cheaply as possible to make the project to obtain the greatest benefit. The installation of fire suppression systems are employed subcontractors — somewhere underpaid, no one finished. It can be. This is the SACC, its function is to verify compliance of project documentation of what has been done in practice. But which organization usually gets the facility first after the construction is an organization the same developer, its housing Department, so what are we talking about?” — asks a rhetorical question the expert on fire safety.

However common, in his opinion, cases where the fire alarm system is installed correctly, but first the housing Department, which gets the house to balance, simply does not enter into a contract for service. “Nobody does anything, nobody serves, has taken into operation but has not entered into a contract for services” — describes the expert a typical situation.

In one of the design Bureau of Kiev, in the design of residential complexes in the capital, to the Correspondent have confirmed that developers are systematically neglect the rules of fire safety. This is done to save on construction and increased profits. The most frequent violations: lack of the required number of emergency exits, fire stairs and fences, reducing the aisle width, reducing the coefficient of fire resistance of communications, lack of adequate space to turn fire engine access and fire with fire motor ladders and lifts in any apartment. “The developer is trying to cram in the plot that it has, how many square feet of living space that you can sell. Thinks first about it. And EXTINGUISH, as a rule, recorded the biggest bribes”, — says the representative of the project office. The reporter is ready to give the word and representatives of the building office.

After commissioning of the house to get from the Builder to repair defects in the fire safety system is difficult, admit lawyers. “In the design documentation includes the equipment, and then it disappears somewhere. Mounted equipment, passed the house in operation, rented equipment, moved to another house. To sue the developer, but in my practice has not been to such a thing is brought to the end, and the developer was reimbursed. Waste of condominiums on the court are very serious — for examination, gathering documents, legal support in court,” — told the lawyer Natalia Zhorov. However, according to her, there are cases when the tenants at their own expense restored the fire alarm system, though it is not a cheap pleasure.

The eternal problem

In addition to the problems with the fire alarm system in poor condition in most houses of Kiev and is the system internal and external fire fighting — fire hydrants, hydrants, special pipes. Particularly deplorable situation in older homes. “As a rule, all is plundered”, — said the head of the Board of a condominium Kiev Michael Kaltageyser.

Беззащитны перед огнем. Пожарная безопасность в Украине



Confirms the presence of these problems in conversation with the Correspondent the representative of the utility company, the Management company of the Darnitsky district of Kiev, Oleg Popenko. “The houses that are on the facilities management company, fire alarm himself in this condition. The management company has received in the state in which they are, it can’t be fined for what 20 years no one did a fire alarm,” said Popenko. According to him, in 2008 in Kiev was to run the recovery program fire alarm systems. Then it had to be at least 400 million UAH, now three to four times more.

So to restore order in the sphere of fire security are not in a hurry neither the city government nor the SES, nor do the owners of expensive housing. No motivating factors. Except to stir people start after a terrible tragedy with loss of life. Although to restore order in the apartment building is no more than several square meters in it. It would spread the insurance of apartments by fire — insurers could put the fear in construction and zhekovskogo chiefs. But while such insurance is more exotic than the usual practice.

The solution? Interested in the condition of fire protection systems and to bother their condominiums (OSBB) or management company.