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Fire Safety and Our Responsibility

Jan 13th 2015 at 1:38 AM

India is a large country with the 2nd largest population in the world. With rapid urbanization and economic development in this country, there is a huge burst of population concentration in the urban cities and metros. With the inflow the development of concentrated colonies and slums are becoming a reality in big cities and metros. Take for example metros like Mumbai or Pune or Kolkata or even Delhi, everywhere a huge inflow is noted year-after-year with people in search for a better career opportunity.

Out of such population burst, a hidden threat is developing in the background – the threat of fire safety. The causes can be many, though. But most prominent causes are electrical short-circuit and domestic gas cylinders.

If we take an example of the financial capital of India, Mumbai alone, the number of fire incidences in the year 2013 was 76 as compared to the Delhi, where the number of occurrences were 42 during the same period. The number of deaths due to fire is Mumbai for the year 2013 was 76 (almost 1 death per occurrence).

As per the all India statistics from National Crime Records Bureau, the number of death in the fire accidents due to electrical short-circuit in the year 2013 (*all India) was 1690 as compared to 1439 in the previous year 2012. The number of deaths for Gas/ Stove burst in the same period was 3395 (2013) and 3746 (2012). Also the fire-cracker death figures are alarmingly at 462 (2013) and 505 (2012). The deaths related to fire-crackers are alarming because, it’s majorly during the celebration of Diwali, where such deaths are recorded by the NCRB. The total figure of fire related death in 2013 was 22177 in 2013 and that for 2012 was at 23281. The state of Maharashtra is third most

To sum the entire situations the root causes for fire related hazard can be underlined as below:

  • Lack of proper equipments
  • Lack of fire safety awareness
  • Lack of proper fire safety training
  • Improper electrification
  • Low quality materials and improper installation

Our responsibility:

As we can see from the above figures that fire hazard is increasing alarmingly with the rapid urbanization. And we need to practice safety precautions in order to keep ourselves and our families safe at all locations. Be it business center or a residential complex, with proper fire safety norms, we could prevent any sort of accidents with proper care and concern. Here are a few things that may help us to part away from fire hazards.

Fire prevention system at all places:

When any residential or commercial establishment is developed, it should be equipped with fire prevention systems along with signage with fire safety instructions. These should be stationed at user-accessible places and instructions must be written in local, as well as Hindi and English languages.

Fire detection and alarm systems:

Every workplace and residential complexes must be fitted with efficient fire detection and alarm systems. These systems must be services at regular intervals and if possible mock-drills must be carried out once or twice a year to ensure best safety practices. Mock-drills can also be an effective training medium for fire safety.

Safe electrical wiring and insulation:

As we can note that the electrical short-circuit is one of the major causes of fire occurrence, the electrical wirings inside buildings need to be concealed and must be well insulated. The short-circuit happens due to poor standard of wiring and inferior wire usages, care should be taken to use only good quality materials and materials of higher current ratings than the prescribed minimum. Electrification of AC must be kept separate than the normal supply powers. And fire-safety standards must be maintained at all electrical distribution systems. Sectionalizing electrical distribution and sealing electrical ducts can help in spread of fire to other sections of the building.

(Image courtesy: FSAI National Campaign for School Level Awareness)

Fire safety awareness:

Awareness is the best prevention. We must spread awareness among school children, worker communities and everyone in general. There are many NGOs working for raising awareness about fire safety and prevention. They should be encouraged.

Fire is a great resource that the mankind has explored since thousands of years. Using it properly can save a lot of lives and can also tame this power for betterment of the society as a whole. And last words, “Don’t panic in a situation. Be brave and take informed decision. You will be saved and can also save others.”

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