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Insurance Article

Building Collapse: Some Precautions You Must Take

October 15 2016
Secure your Home through Home Insurance

Secure your sweet home from collapse with these effective measures

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 7 structures have collapsed each day in India during 2010-2014. The structures mainly comprised of residential buildings and commercial buildings with 4919 and 1610 fatalities respectively. In addition, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of deaths caused due to collapse of structures, followed by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Such alarming statistics only point towards a need for greater awareness while choosing a site for construction or a home to live. While it may not be possible to safeguard one’s home from the ill effects of a calamity, it is possible to control the extent of damage. Here are a few precautions to reduce the likelihood of you becoming a victim of a building collapse:

Check the Foundation

It all begins with the kind of foundation you build for your home. In case the property is located around a swampy ground, a stronger foundation is required as compared to solid grounds. But having said that, one cannot overlook the fact that even solid grounds require robust foundations.

Build Earthquake-Proof Constructions

A seismic zone map released on September 20, 2016 by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) states that 59% of households in India are vulnerable to severe and moderate earthquake.

Effective pre-planning carried out by the government and builders and general awareness in this regard has the potential to save thousands of lives. Thus, it will be a wise step to learn from other earthquake-prone countries such as Japan that is several steps ahead from the rest of the world in building earthquake-proof structures. Among the several methods, the most common is installing beams that transfer the sway, dissipation units, and incorporation of flexible material.

Avoid Major Alterations

Another major cause of building collapse are the major alternations that are made to the basic exterior and interior arrangement of the structure. For example, removal of one of the beams that provide support to the building could make it susceptible to damage.

Additional and Illegal constructions should be monitored and banned. These add-ons put extra pressure on the weight holding capacity of the building giving rise to cracks on the walls. Also, in the cases of dilapidated establishments, the focus should be on its repair rather on modifications which reduce the longevity.

Awareness of the construction area

Look for architectural designs that are common in your area of construction. For example, regions that receive heavy rainfall every year have houses with tiled roofs and effective drainage mechanism to avoid flooding and consequent weakening of the foundation. Similarly, high-rise buildings in zones susceptible to typhoons need to be flexible yet durable enough to withstand high wind velocity, whereas smaller homes in the same region need to have deep set windows.

It is crucial to choose sturdy and enduring homes that can stand the wear and tear of weather uncertainties. Be it rainfall, floods or earthquake, a robust construction will not budge, and last for ages. Also, with care and regular maintenance, you can easily protect your home from turning to ruins.

While adopting these measures is certainly helpful, opting for ICICI Lombard's home insurance policy will secure you against the unexpected financial losses, be it natural or man-made.

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