The rising number of building collapses in India
Structural collapses have become a growing issue in India. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) identifies that a stark 13,473 building collapse cases were reported between 2010 and 2014 with an average of seven structures collapsing per day.
For statistical purposes, NCRB classifies collapse of structures into five different categories. They are residential, commercial, dams, bridges and others. Out of this, other structural collapses such as the flyover in Kolkata, take the top spot in terms of fatalities.
However, residential collapses closely follows second accounting for 37.3% deaths of the total count, or 4,914 loss of lives. This staggering data proves that it is a dangerously prominent issue haunting the country.
Reasons for the Rising Collapses in India
In most cases, accidents with respect to houses and buildings occur in densely populated areas. In cities like Mumbai, there are frequent reports of building collapses, almost one every week. According to the Indian Disaster Report 2013, most construction mishaps happen in low-income, substandard, illegally constructed or informal housing settlements. Another reason is the boom in real estate that has paved way for competition in high-rise constructions.
Every other construction company aims to complete projects in a short span due to the time constraints. Most firms settle for unskilled and untrained labourers who are not familiar with the basic construction techniques and structural design.
Ways to Handle Structural Collapse of Your Home
Predominantly, buildings collapse due of instability in the design, improper structural placements or substandard quality of materials. If the execution of construction is consciously monitored to avoid these issues, the instances of such disasters can be curbed. Additionally, a collapse can also occur due to natural calamities such as earthquakes or floods.
To tackle such situations and ensure minimal injury to yourself and your loved ones, here are a few pointers:
- Move to open spaces away from falling debris, there may be chances of more falls
- Be aware of any gas leak or electrical hazard due to the damage
- Be careful around sharp object or broken slabs while getting out of the debris
- Refrain from touching power cords or open sockets
- Identify if there are any missing family members trapped inside and notify the fire/disaster management authorities immediately
- If your home is insured, notify your insurance provider
Measures to claim proper insurance for your home must be considered. In the event improper construction leads to a collapse, one must be very cautious while applying for claims with proper analysis of the policy by reading closely at the term that defines ‘collapse’. The first step to take is to ask for a certified copy of your policy and go through it. One must determine the exact cause of the incident and calculate the loss with accuracy.
In case you don’t have a home insurance policy, opt for one to safeguard your finances and recoup from the downfall.