Safety Standards Ignored in Bazaars

Safety Standards Ignored in BazaarsSafety Standards Ignored in Bazaars

Numerous shops in traditional marketplaces in Tehran and other cities face safety risks because they were not originally designed for the purpose, according to a spokesman of Tehran’s Fire Department.

Many buildings in the bazaars are old residential units that over time changed function and are now used as shops, but safety protocols did not follow the change in function.

“The shops do not meet the safety standards one would expect from commercial centers,” Seyyed Jalal Maleki told ISNA. “That’s why the number of incidents in the bazaars is high.”

Water and electrical power systems are among the main features that must be revamped before an old residential building can function as a commercial space, but local authorities seem to overlook these needs when issuing permits.

According to Maleki, the most important risk factors for traditional marketplaces include worn-out electric power systems, which are responsible for many fire incidents, run-down structures that nearing collapse and poor warehousing, for example storing flammable material close to heaters or leaving them exposed to the sun.

“Shop owners are not solely responsible for ensuring safety standards. It also is the duty of the Labor Ministry and relevant unions,” he said, suggesting that authorities make it mandatory for commercial buildings to pass the Fire Department’s evaluation tests before being granted business permits.


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