Evaluating the safety status of high rise residential buildings in Kampala
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Despite the existence of rules and regulations governing safety of structures, several accidents including fire outbreaks, usually started by electrical faults, building collapses, vandalism and other safety threats have continued to occur in Kampala’s high rise residential buildings. Most of these have found the buildings ill-prepared, with no countermeasure in such occurrences, and in fact, some of the buildings themselves pose a threat to the residents. Therefore, this research was mainly aimed at evaluating the current state of buildings in regard to safety, i.e. their proneness to disaster and their preparedness in case of occurrence of the same. The researcher applied survey research design, by involving 10 residential buildings from around the five (5) divisions of Kampala, twenty-two residents, and 10 building owners/administrators. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using observation checklists and questionnaires. The analysis was done using IBM SPSS statistics 25 and Microsoft Excel 2016 software, to come up with safety levels of the buildings in regard to each safety aspect, as well as the divisional performance. The analysis established that several high rise residential buildings fell short of the safety status required of them, with the major concerns being fire and electrical safety, and the major causes being poor maintenance, inadequate laws, little involvement by regulatory authorities, and residents and administrators falling short on their roles to play in ensuring safety. Some of the proposed measures of palliating the situation were the improvement of maintenance practices, conducting regular safety surveys, inspection of buildings by authorities, and appending more safety aspects to the building regulations, to mention but a few. When this is done, the safety status of high rise residential building in Kampala will be improved, and the occurrence of threats prevented, delayed, or better responded to, thereby minimising loss of lives and billions worth of property.