Nous n’avons pas besoin d’expertise étrangère pour nous aider dans l’enquête sur l’incendie de Shoprite, mais nous avons sûrement besoin d’experts étrangers pour moderniser nos équipements, nos lois concernant les risques d’incendie dans les lieux publics. Il est important de protéger les citoyens mauriciens. Avons-nous de systèmes d’alarme le plus complets avec des détecteurs optiques de fumée, de chaleur, de flamme infrarouge, des déclencheurs manuels, des diffuseurs sonores et des issues de secours ? Par exemple, nous nous étonnons d’appendre qu’il n’y pas de date d’expiration sur un Fire Certificate émis pour un centre commercial en entier en passant par les magasins aux entrepôts.
« Are you saying that we don’t have the competent persons in Mauritius to do that job? We have competent persons to do the job. I don’t agree with you », devait répondre la ministre Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo au Parlement. Elle voulait dissiper les allégations au sujet des manquements notés au sujet de l’intervention des Mauritius Fire and Rescue Services dans l’incendie du 12 novembre dernier. Toutefois, elle realise que: ‘all necessary measures for the continuous upgrading and modernization of the Mauritius and Fire Rescue Service to meet and ever be prepared for any challenges.’
Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo a indiqué qu’une inspection de l’entrepôt de Shoprite avait eu lieu le 28 février. Le 19 octobre 2015, Shoprite avait obtenu un «fire certificate». Mais on apprend que l’officier en question a pourtant omis de cocher certaines sections sous le Fire Protection. Un des entrepôts est équipé de 3 extincteurs alors que l’autre ne dispose que d’un seul. Deux zones du bâtiment sous le titre de ‘Store’, ne disposent d’une seule sortie d’urgence en cas d’incendie, soit un escalier.
Le peuple mauricien a droit à des réponses sur ce dossier, on doit connaitre les mesures de sécurité entourant des entrepôts du pays, des bâtiments ou le public a accès. Les sorties d’urgence en cas d’incendie, soit un escalier. Le nombre d’extincteurs que disposent ses bâtiments.
Nous avons aussi appris que la livraison des camions de pompier aura lieu dans environ quinze mois et les pompes à eau le seront dans quelque six mois. Le MFRS recevra ce décembre une pompe à eau de grand volume.
Répondant au leader de l’opposition qui voulait savoir si la vice-Première ministre comptait rendre les « sprinklers » obligatoires, la ministre pense qu’il faut faire une étude. Encore une fois, Xavier Duval s’étonne que l’Emmanuel Building ne détienne pas de Fire Certificat, citant aussi le cas de l’immeuble historique abritant l’Assemblée nationale où, a-t-il dit en substance, « hardly can we find any fire extinguisher ». Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo », laissera le soin à l’Attorney General», de décider si on va inclure la notion de «Corporate Manslaughter» dans la loi.
Voici un extrait de la réponse de la ministre :
With regard to buildings and measures taken since 11 July 2017, it should be noted that the buildings can be categorized as follows:
- High-rise buildings
- Government-owned buildings
- Privately-owned building occupied by government organisations
Following a survey carried out by the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service, which began prior to 11 July 2017, there are 342 high-rise buildings with 3 more than 3 floors. These buildings are commercial, residential and mixed occupancies.
All these buildings have been inspected by the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service.
Out of the above 342 high-rise buildings, one hundred and thirty nine (139) have been issued with a fire certificate after 11 July 2017.
Out of the above 342 high-rise buildings, it was noted that 203 buildings do not comply with fire safety measures and fire certificates have not yet been issued. However, the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service has initiated action to serve improvement notices in the first instance.
The House may also wish to note that there are 1229 buildings which are occupied by government organisations, out of which, 1019 are owned by the State.
Prior to 11 July 2017, 60 state-owned buildings had a fire certificate. One hundred and forty-three (143) buildings owned by the state do not require a fire certificate because they are not occupied by more than 20 persons and they have a floor area of less than 250 square metres.
Thus they do not fall under the parameters of the OSHA 2005 and the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service Act of 2013. These 143 buildings have been inspected and issued with a fire clearance.
Of the remaining 799, 287 applications have been received for a fire certificate. Of these 287, 235 have been inspected and 17 additional buildings were issued with a fire certificate.
There are 210 privately-owned buildings which are occupied by government organisations. Of these 210, 64 already have fire certificates and 52 do not require a fire certificate because they are occupied by less than 20 people and have a floor area of less than 250 square metres. These 52 have been issued with a fire clearance document. Out of the 210, 94 buildings have not been issued with a fire certificate and as such improvement notices have already been served.
With regard to commercial buildings, in 2016, 546 commercial buildings have been issued with a fire certificate. Up to November 2017, 381 fire certificates have been issued.
As regards NHDC buildings, they are residential buildings, which are not subject to inspection by the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service. However, consideration will be given to the advisability for such buildings also to be subject to fire inspections.
With regard to Victoria Hospital, one fire door was reportedly blocked. Inspection was carried out and remedial action was taken immediately.
For NPF building in Rose Hill, a fire certificate was issued on 1st September 2017.
For Jhugroo Building, in Vacoas, an enforcement inspection effected on 10th November 2017 revealed that the building still satisfied fire safety requirements and the conditions imposed in the fire certificate issued on 10th May 2010 are complied with. The fire certificate is still valid.
With regard to Goliva Building, the fire certificate was revoked for non-compliance with fire safety measures on 27th May 2014 and the following authorities have been informed for action at their end: Ministry of Labour, 5
The Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service that there are:
- a) 32 firefighting vehicles, out of which 18 are in operation in all the 10 Fire Stations and 14 are under repairs;
- b) 52 utility vehicles including breathing apparatus and rope rescue van, out of which 5 utility vehicles are under repair;
- c) 3 aerial ladders, out of which one is in operation.
All the firefighters have been issued with their respective Personal Protective Equipment, comprising fire boots, tunics and leggings, helmets, gloves, goggles and fire hoods.
Since this equipment is subject to wear and tear, a procurement exercise has already started for the renewal of defective ones. The Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service is also in the process of inducting new recruits who will join the service soon.
As regards the firefighting vehicles, for this financial year, an amount of 200 million rupees has been provided under the Indian Line of Credit for the 6 acquisition of 20 firefighting vehicles. Thirty million rupees have also been earmarked for the purchase of 2 high volume water pumps.
My Ministry has already forwarded the tender documents to the EXIM Bank of India for the invitation of bids. The EXIM Bank of India will undertake the procurement exercise.
The delivery of the firefighting vehicles is expected in or about 15 months’ time and the high-volume water pumps in or about 6 months.
The House may wish to note that the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service is expected to receive another high-volume water pump by December 2017, for which the procurement exercise was initiated last financial year.