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What are the important fire safety signs that you should be aware of in a public place?

Fire accidents can take place almost anywhere on our planet. A simple short circuit or a misfired cracker flying into cloth curtains and there’s an entire building on fire within minutes. There’s almost no time for thinking the possibilities and looking around to fathom in what’s going on. You must always be prepared wherever you go and the best is to keep looking for fire hazard signals and signboards in the public places.

Here are some important fire safety signs that you should be aware of in a public place:

1. Means of escape: Look out for signboards that give you emergency exit routes, staircase right down to the ground floor and the likes. The escape means would always be clearly mentioned around. Once the fire is out there, it will be difficult for you to read any sign with that amount of smoke around. So the best is to be preventive rather than being instinctive.

2. The exit and the entrance: Clogging exits and entrances will spell hazard for you. The small entrances and exit only mean stampede when casualty hits. People will be running through them and the exits will be blocked for no good. So it’s always the option to consider all the possible ways of finding yourself out of the fire as soon as it breaks.

3. Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers will always come handy if they are in date and full. You must know how to use them before you dismantle them from the wall. There will be sign boards referring to the place where the fire extinguishers are there, look out for them.

4. Staircase route: The stairs that will lead you out of the building too will have signboards in any public premise. You just need to be aware enough to find out in which direction the emergency exit is to find yourself out.

There are just as many signs and signboards installed all around the public places but people tend to miss out on them. After the fire breaks out, there is almost no way people can read the sign boards because of the thick blackening and blinding smoke around. There is an act on the regulation of fire that made it clear that these four things need to have signs:

  1. Prohibition and fire.
  2. Mandatory signs
  3. Caution
  4. Safe condition.

According to these four phases of fire, all the signs should clearly state what’s to be done and how. Like for example, you always see a sign that has- a man running on stairs; that means that is supposed to be the exit stairs that will take you directly to the ground floor and also, the stairs are emergency exits in multistoried buildings.

Whenever you visit a public place like mall, hospital, exhibition, marriage or party halls make a mental note of the fire exits and look out for these signages. This can save you crucial time in case of an emergency.

 

 

stephen court

Throwback on India’s 5 worst fire accidents & why there is a prevailing laxity

India has witnessed some of the worst fire accidents in the history of the world and human negligence and lack of proper rules and regulations regarding fire management are the major reasons behind them. Over the years, the country has lost a large number of lives as assets to fire accidents. Here, we will look at India’s 5 worst fire accidents in history and we will also ponder on the reasons for the increasing number of fire accidents in the country. There is a clear lack of a set of rules and regulations to prevent such accidents.

  1. Uphar Fire Tragedy- Delhi

A major fire broke out at Uphaar Cinema situated in Green Park, Delhi on 13 June 1997 during the screening of popular Bollywood movie Border. The disaster claimed the lives of 59 people and injured 103 people. Most of the people died because of suffocation. No fire extinguishers, exit lights, blocked exits and unauthorized shops set up at the exit gates caused the accident.

uphaar fire accident

Uphaar Fire Accident, Source: The First Post

  1. Kumbakonam School Fire – Tamil Nadu

A school situated in the Thanjavur district of the southern state of Tamil Nadu caught fire and took lives of 94 children. The fire erupted in the building that had classrooms of the nursery, primary and secondary wing. The school authorities did not deploy any fire fighting mechanisms, emergency exit plans and the congested area of the school building were to blame.

 

Fire Safety in Schools in India

Kumbakonam Fire Accident

  1. Mandi Dabwali Fire Accident – Haryana

One of the worst fire accidents in the history of India, Mandi Dabwali fire accident claimed the lives of 300 people, mostly school going children. The pandal set up in the area collapsed due to fire and more than 100 people were injured in the accident.

Dabwali Fire Accident, Source: The Tribune

  1. Brand India Fair Fire accident – Meerut

More than 50 people were charred to death when a major fire broke out at Brand India Fair held in Meerut on April 15, 2006. Reports said that short circuit was the reason behind the dastardly fire that injured even some of the firemen that went inside the complex to douse the fire.

  1. Stephen Court Fire Accident – Kolkata

On January 23, 2004, a fire erupted at the iconic Stephen Court building situated on Park Street. The fire claimed the lives of 42 people and injured many. Absence of proper fire exits and high floors further aggravated the situation for fire tenders.

stephen court

Stephen Court Fire Accident, Source: 24X7 Kolkata

Why Is There A Prevailing Laxity?

In India, according to NCRB ADSI report 2015, 48 people lose their lives on a daily basis due to fire accidents. Given the rising number of accidents, it is the need of the hour that center, state, and union government must enforce strict safety regulations.

Not only it is important to enforce them but it is equally important to make sure that these rules are obeyed and offenders are booked to teach them a lesson. Awareness must be created in masses to help them identify the possible fire hazards in their vicinity and take immediate steps to ensure the safety of buildings including hotels, schools, and other buildings.

Most of the accidents are caused due to electrical short circuits, therefore, a body must be formed to implement strict safety regulations on the electrical equipment.


Forest Fires In India- History & Stats On Rising Forest Fires In India

This year California witnessed one of the worst forest fires in the country which turned 10 lakh acres of cultivable land to unproductive. Several people and business organizations had to leave and flee the place to save their life and assets.
India is no different when we speak about forest fires. India has witnessed a rapid increase in the number of forest fires. Forest fires in India in the past has caused a large amount of destruction leading to loss of life and cultivable land. Here, in this article, we have provided some statistics that will show that the issue of forest fires demands attention and government must take some steps to ensure that fires can be contained before large-scale damage occurs.

Forest fires in India

Every year we have a brief spotlight on the forest fires in the news channels and newspapers. After that, there is not much ado about it anywhere. Recently, when there was a fire in Bandipur forest, it was making headlines for quite some time and of course the gruesome Theni forest fire, which claimed a lot of lives and reduced hectares of vegetation to ashes. After a couple of months, we forget these incidents.

The recent Coonoor forest fire – The fire started at the beginning of April 2019 and it continues for the past 15 days. According to the officials, the fire is caused by heat. Acute shortage of water and manpower is the main factor for delay in putting out the fire. (source)

We hardly have this news until the last few years. If you are wondering why, here’s a quick stat for you. There was a 46 percent increase in the forest fires in the past 16 years. There is a 158 percent increase in the last 6 years.

Source – http://117.239.115.41/smsalerts/index.php

Forest fires in India

Between January – February 2019, there have been 558 forest fires in India. Out of which 209 forest fires are from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Kerala.
India loses, Rs. 1176 crore in a year to forest fires. Only around Rs. 50 crores is allocated for Forest Fire Prevention and Management Fund (source)

Let’s look at the recent forest fires and its impact on different states of India

 

Forest fires in India

Source: Global Forest Watch (Globalforestwatch.org)

Trend in forest fires over the past few years:

forest fire trend in the last 5 years

Source: Global Forest Watch (Globalforestwatch.org)

Forest fires in India from the year 2000

Reasons Behind Increasing Forest Fires

Following are the reasons that are leading to an increased number of forest fires in India:

1. Natural Causes

Forest fires can be caused due to natural causes such as lightning, spontaneous combustion of dry vegetation and volcanic activities. You cannot control natural causes and therefore creating awareness about forest fires in forest dwellers as well as people living nearby forests is important. You can teach people about post-fire management that involves soil and moisture conservation after a fire has impacted an area.
Rising temperature is one of the major natural cause that leads to forest fires. When the temperature rises, dry vegetation catches fire easily which leads to forest fires.

2. Man-made causes

According to Indian Express, 90 percent of the forest fires are the result of human carelessness. Villagers set forest pieces on fire in order to get fresh grass. This fire spreads over time and leads to a full-fledged forest fire disaster. Other man-made causes behind the rising incidents of forest fires in India are timber mafias who set forests on fire after obtaining timber. Forest fires in Uttarakhand are caused mainly due to people setting plants on fire to collect resin. Resin can be easily collected as pine needles are burnt for lighting them on fire.
Carelessness and people’s negligence are also a major factor behind the increasing number of forest fires. People casually drop burning cigarettes and bidi butts that leads to the spreading of fire in a forest.

We lose hectares of land and our natural vegetation gets destroyed due to our own carelessness. Only if we educate people about the consequences of fire accidents and forest fires we can reduce this to some extent.

Read more…

Rural fires in India 
Theni Forest Fire

 

 

 

 

fire extinguisher

How to buy a fire extinguisher for your home

If not handled carefully, fires can be deadly. We have said that many times before, in our previous posts. Residential fire accidents account to 20 percent of all fire accidents in India.

 

A home fire extinguisher is the last thing that one would buy for our house. We do not hesitate to decorate our homes with fancy decors, but, let’s try to put away some money in our budget for safety.

Fire extinguishers are one of the most effective means of putting out a fire. If you’re in the market to purchase a fire extinguisher for your home, you will be amazed by the number of options you have. There are possibilities that without proper knowledge you will end up buying a wrong type of fire extinguisher that would not help you in putting out the fire. Here is a brief guide to help you buy a fire extinguisher for your home.

How to buy a fire extinguisher for your home

Choosing the best type of fire extinguisher

When you are out there choosing the best fire extinguisher for your home, it is important to understand which type of fire extinguisher would be best for you. Household fires are divided into different categories depending on the type of fuel burning. Different fire extinguishers can be used to put out different types of fire. Here are the common types of fire extinguishers you will find in the market:

  • Air Pressurized Water (AWP) Fire Extinguishers

These type of extinguishers use pressurized water to fight the fire. AWP fire extinguishers are used for putting out Class A fire that is caused due to the burning of solid combustibles. It is advised that do not use water for extinguishing fire caused due to flammable equipment and electrical equipment as it could aggravate the fire.

  • Foam Extinguishers

Foam fire extinguishers are successful against fire caused due to the burning of solid combustibles and flammable liquids. These are safer than AWP fire extinguishers and are usually marked with a blue band. These can vary widely in size and are available in different sizes according to your requirement.

  • Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers (CO2 extinguishers)

As evident from its name, this type of fire extinguisher uses carbon dioxide to put out a fire. With the help of non-flammable carbon dioxide, CO2 fire extinguishers can fight a fire caused due to flammable liquids and electrical equipment. These do not consist of a pressure gauge.

  • Dry Chemical Extinguishers

Dry Chemical extinguishers use mono ammonium phosphate for fighting a fire. These have a pressure gauge and are usually labeled ABC or BC describing the different types of fire these can extinguish. Dry Chemical Extinguishers are usually used for fires caused due to solid combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical equipment. These are the most common type of fire extinguishers that are deployed in home for fire fighting.

 

Choosing the best fire extinguisher for home according to location

If you planning to install a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, you might want to purchase an extinguisher that can put out a fire caused due to cooking oil, grease, animal fat etc. However, if you want to install a fire extinguisher in your drawing room with wooden furniture, choose the type that’s beat for extinguishing a fire on a wooden material.

 

Choosing the fire extinguisher according to who will use it

If you have children at home, you might want to purchase a fire extinguisher that is easy to operate and lightweight. You can opt for dry chemical Extinguishers or CO2 extinguishers.

Here’s a video on 5 Things To Protect Your Home From Fire


What should you do upon hearing a fire alarm?

Do you know how a fire alarm sounds? Have you taken part in a fire drill/ mock drill before? or Do you choose to go home when there is one at your workplace? If you know how to act upon hearing a fire alarm it could save you crucial moments that make a difference between life and death… here’s why

How do fire alarms help us

Fire accidents are tragic and could lead to loss of life and property. However, if proper safety measures are deployed, fire accidents can be prevented. Out of all the equipment that can be used for detecting and fighting a fire, a fire alarm is the most reliable equipment.

With a good quality fire alarm, you can detect a fire before the situation reaches a critical point. One cannot stress more on equipping your workplace or home with a fire detection system. A fire alarm not only alerts you about an outbreak of fire but also provides you crucial moments to take precautionary measures that can minimize risk for life and property. Now, one of the most important questions that arise is the steps you must take upon hearing a fire alarm.

When you hear a fire alarm, you must act immediately. Never assume that it could be a false alarm as the longer you wait after hearing a fire alarm the less time you will get to evacuate yourself and your loved ones out of the affected premises. Even if it is a mock drill at your workplace or places that you visit, take part with enthusiasm. This learning could save your life in the wake of an emergency.

What should you do upon hearing a fire alarm?

  • Make a decision immediately

In case of a fire alarm, you have to take an immediate decision – – whether to leave the premises or to stay indoors. The decision could be a life-deciding factor and depends largely on the situation you are trapped in. Most of the times, evacuating the fire-affected building is the best decision. If you have missed the opportunity to safely leave the building or if the exit is blocked, you need to be prepared to fight the effects of fire such as smoke and flames before you are rescued out of the building by professionals.

  • In case of large fires, do not attempt to extinguish the fire

It is a human tendency to rush towards the cause of a fire or to attempt extinguishing the fire on your own. However, it is advised that never attempt to extinguish a fire or gather your personal belongings upon hearing a fire alarm.

  • Rush towards the assembly area

When you hear a fire alarm in a building, rush towards the assembly area that is mentioned on the fire notices in the building. As per law, every building must have a well-charted fire evacuation plan that should mandatorily mention the safe meeting points.

  • Do not use elevators

In event of a fire, do not use elevators to evacuate out of the building. Use stairs instead; as there are chances that fire could lead to electricity failure which would trap you inside the lift.

  • Close doors and windows if you have time

If you have time, try closing doors and windows in the fire affected area. It would help in containing the fire. However, attempt this step only if you feel that you can exit the premises safely before a hazard befalls.

  • Do not attempt to re-enter the fire affected building

Do not attempt to re-enter the building unless you are advised by fire fighting professionals and the building has been deemed safe.

It is important to be aware of the fire exits of a building. Always make a mental note of this whenever you enter a premise. It could be your workplace, theater or a mall.

Image source: usacarry.com


Another fire in Delhi? Another Uphaar? Another Kamala Mills?

Here’a blog I wrote some months ago on Mandi Dabwali.

Mandi Dabwali

Every time I read or hear about a deathly man-made, man-aggravated disaster in India, two words come to mind: Mandi Dabwali. Doesn’t ring a bell, does it? Why should it? It was nearly 22 years ago, and nearly half of India’s current population was not born. It was another blip in the long and painful chronicle of India’s human-occasioned disasters.

Mandi Dabwali Fire Accident

Mandi Dabwali Fire Accident – Haryana 1995 (Image Source: Yahoo News)

Like every other disaster, it eventually healed and faded, leaving only a small scar tissue on the nation. Except in the hearts of the parents who lost their children, where there will always be an aching emptiness, a big hole. On December 23 every year, in the emptiness of their heart, they will think of a simple number: If our son/daughter we alive today, he/she would be 25-26-27.

Meanwhile, the nation purportedly marches towards greatness trampling on the thousands who die every day from the monumental torpor and criminal negligence of the government, and of the people, because what is a government after all but of the people before being for the people?

For those who are still wondering what is Mandi Dabwali, here’s a brief reminder of the 1995 incident: The local DAV Public School in the town of Mandi Dabwali in Sirsa district of Haryana was celebrating its annual day function at the Rajiv Marriage Palace in a typically Indian manner. Little policing, no precautions, no fire codes… just a random crush of people gathered under an inflammable tent. It caught fire. Some 1500 people tried to escape through the single exit door. More than 400, nearly half of them children, died. Process that again…four…hundred…people.

A court of inquiry was ordered. It took nearly five years for the one-man commission to be instituted, another five for it to submit an interim report, and five more years to give compensation to the victims’ families. The agony dragged on not for months but YEARS. More than a DECADE. No one knows if there were recommendations regarding school gatherings or safety codes or fire drills. What we know is that some six years after Mandi Dabwali, the thatched roof of the Krishna English Medium School in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, caught fire. Nearly 100 children were killed.

Kumbakonam Fire Accident

Kumbakonam Fire Accident – Tamil Nadu, 2004 (Image source: Jagran)

They were not the first incidents and they will not be the last. In fact, as far back as 1980, my career in journalism began while still in J-school covering what came to be known as the Venus Circus Tragedy. Same story. Kids under an inflammable circus tent; no fire code or enforcement; panic and stampede; nearly 100, mostly children, dead. Followed by the same circus: tortured court of inquiry and little follow up action.

We are a nation of human-occasioned disasters. From school fires to stampedes to hospital deaths to bus accidents to building collapses, ours is an unending litany of tragedies that claim the lives of thousands of people every year. Our people are cannon fodder. Nothing changes. There are the usual expressions of sympathy and commiseration, compensations and a court of inquiry announced, headlines that quickly recede, and its back to “normal” till the next disaster. You can bet your bottom rupee there will be another stampede within the year of the kind that took place in Mumbai this week.

It is not that school fires and stampedes and train accidents don’t occur in other countries. From the St Johns School fire in Peabody in Massachusetts in 1915 (21 girls died) to the 1954 Cleveland Hill school fire in New York (20 dead), America has seen its share of school tragedies, including mass shootings. It also learns from the incidents and institutes codes and processes that are strictly enforced. The Peabody disaster nearly a century ago led to a simple, nationwide law – all doors in public buildings and schools must push outwards.

We never learn, and when we do, we don’t enforce. The disasters keep repeating. In fact, we don’t even acknowledge the pain. A few weeks, a few months later, it’s almost the incident did not occur. Or maybe there have been so many that we can’t remember.

Not even in the school where it occurred. Check out the website of Mandi Dabwali’s DAV school. Nary a mention of the fire that killed 400. You start to wonder if it happened at all.

***********************************************
About The Author:
Chidanand Rajghatta is an Indian-born opinion columnist based in Washington, D.C. He is the present foreign opinion columnist and a United States liberal blogger for The Times of India

7 Worst Fire Accidents In India In 2018

Fire accidents, if not handled carefully, can lead to a huge loss of life and assets. Countries like India where fire accidents stand at the 4th position in the list of biggest risks to the business.  It is important to take special measures to curb fire accidents. However, fire accidents have increased in number over the years and authorities have failed to implement policies to stop such life claiming accidents.

In India lack of proper legislative provisions has led to several fire accidents in the country that have claimed a substantial number of lives and caused damages of millions. 2018 was no exception if the rising cases of fire accidents in the country are considered. Here, are the top worst fire accidents occurred in India in the year 2018.

  1. Fire explosion in a cracker factory in Warangal took 10 lives
MGM Hospital in Warangal

Pic Source: The News Minute

A cracker factory situated in Warangal, Telangana was surrounded by fire on July 4, 2018. The fire caused the death of 10 workers who were trapped inside the factory. The gruesome accident charred the bodies that made it difficult to identify the people who died in the accident.  A short circuit is seen as the possible cause of the massive fire that broke out in the factory. The government announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for the members of the deceased’s family. The police officials who reached the accident spot ordered an inquiry to nab the culprits behind the accident.  (source link)

  1. A major fire explosion at BPCL Plant Injured more than 40 people

At least 43 people were severely injured in a boiler blast at Bharat Petroleum Refinery in Chembur area of Mumbai. The accident took place on August 9, 2018, at the state-run BPCL refinery. The injured were rushed to the refinery’s medical center and nearby hospitals. Thankfully, no casualties were reported in the incident. (Source link)

  1. Six dead, more than 140 rescued from a fire accident in Mumbai Hospital

A dastardly fire accident took place at ESIC Kamgar Hospital, Marol, Mumbai claiming the lives of 10 people on December 17, 2018. As many as 140 people were rescued from the spot. An investigation that was conducted two days later revealed that the fire was caused due to sparks flowing from a welding machine that was being operated nearby. No safety measures were adopted by the hospital and the two workers who were operating the welding workers absconded from the spot. The MIDC police arrested the contractor who got the contract for the construction happening in the hospital. (Source Link)

  1. 27 People Burnt Alive after a moving bus caught fire in Bihar’s Motihari
Motihari district fire accident

Pic source: India Today

27 people people were charred to death in a bus travelling from Muzzafarpur to New Delhi. The accident occurred while the bus driver was trying to prevent a collision with a two-wheeler. The bus turned turtle and 27 people were gutted in the fire. (Source link)

  1. Five dead and five injured in a massive fire outbreak in a Lucknow situated hotel.
Virat Hotel Fire

Pic Source: News18

On June 19, 2018 a massive fire broke out at Viraat Hotel located in the Charbagh area of Lucknow. The accident claimed the lives of five people and injuring another five. According to the reports, the fire was caused by cooking gas leakage that originated in the hotel’s kitchen. The entire building was gutted in the saddening fire accident. More than fifty people were rescued from the accident area by half a dozen fire tenders. Later, it was found by authorities that the hotel did not comply to fire safety norms 2005 which led to the massive fire causing the loss of life and assets. An FIR was lodged against the owners and workers under the appropriate Indian Penal Code sections including culpable homicide not amounting to murder. (Source Link)

  1. A major fire accident took the life of four when Technic Plus One Building Caught fire
Goregaon Building Fire

Pic Source: The Hindu

A fire outbreak at the Technic Plus One Building,  a nine-story commercial complex in suburban Goregaon took four lives and injured 9. The accident that happened on 27 May 2018 gutted the building. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said that it will prepare a report to check whether the fire safety regulations were properly followed in the building or not. The fire was initially classified as Level II fire but soon turned to Level III fire and claimed four lives. (Source Link)

  1. Bawana Fire accident
Bawana Fire Accident

Pic Source: Indian Express

It’s been one year since the Bawana fire accident, but this is one of the worst fire accidents of 2018. An illegal firecracker manufacturing factory was set up in the lieu of a plastic manufacturing factory in the Bawana district, on the outskirts of Delhi. On January 20, 2018, around 6 pm the illegal unit caught fire trapping laborers inside due to the exit being blocked by construction activity going around in the vicinity. The accident claimed the lives of 17 people. Two months later, an 800-page charge sheet was filed by the police and the owners were booked under IPC sections 304, 377 and Explosives Act. (Source link

Most of the fire accidents tell us about the appalling status of fire safety implementation and general laxity amongst the public. We believe only with a mass drive to educate the general public and strict adherence to fire safety laws can help to avoid these incidents in future

Kamala Mills Fire Accident Infographic

What Happened Till Date After The Gruesome Kamala Mills Fire Accident?

Fire hazards are common in India and there have been several cases that have resulted in casualties. The fire accident at Kamala Mills Compound in 1 Above Pub and Mojo’s Bistro Pub located in the Lower Parel in Mumbai is one of the most infamous fire accident. The major fire accident claimed the lives of 14 people and more a dozen people were injured. The accident happened on 29th December 2017 at 12.30. Kamala Mills compound houses offices of many TV news channels and famous restaurants and pubs. We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the saddening fire accident. Let us have a look at the proceedings in the case so far and what actions have been taken by the government till date.

 

29th December 2017: FIR by Police

After the news of the fire broke out, The Mumbai police filed an FIR under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and several other sections have also been included in the FIR including common intention and endangering the life of others. Bombay Municipal Corporation mayor Vishvanath Mahadeshwar orders an in-depth inquiry to seek the culprits.[1]

Kamala Mills Burnt

Picture Source: DNA India

30th December 2017: Demolition Drive & Lookout Notice For Bar Owners

Just one day after the accident, BMC cracked down on the bars and pubs located in the Kamala Mills Compound with illegal extensions. 314 restaurants, bars, and pubs suffered at the arms of the bulldozer and 7 restaurants were sealed for violating the guidelines. Additionally, the police also issued lookout notices for the partners who owned 1Above restaurant that was the major cause of the fire. [2]

 

Series Of Arrests

Following the fire accident that took the lives of 14 people, the Mumbai Police went on an arrest spree and has arrested more than 8 people so far including Ramesh Govani, the owner of Kamala Mills Compound, Yug Tulli, one of the co-owners of The Mojo’s Bistro, three owners and two managers of the 1Above Pub where most of the deaths took place. [3]

 

12th September 2018: High Court Recommends Strict Actions Against The Owners

A judicial committee appointed by the Mumbai High court has recommended strict actions against the owners of the Kamala Mills Compound and the two rooftop restaurants – Mojo Bistro and 1Above. According to the committee, “appropriate punitive actions” must be taken against the trio of the owners of the premises and pubs involved in the accident. [4]

 

17th May 2018: Bail Granted To co-owners of Kamala Mills Compound

On May 17, 2018, a vacation bench of the Bombay High court granted bail to Ramesh Govani and Ramesh Bhandari, the co-owners of the Kamala Mills Compound on the ground of the fact that both the co-owners were unaware of the illegalities that were incorporated in the two pubs involved in the accident. [5]

 

1st November 2018: Bombay High Court Rejects Bail Pleas of the Pub Owners

The Bombay High court rejected the bail pleas filed by the owners of Mojo Bistro and 1Above Pub. [6]

 

16th December 2018: Bail Granted To the Owners of 1 Above Pub

The Supreme Court granted bail to Kripesh Sanghavi and Jigar Sanghavi, the owners of the 1Above pub where the fire broke out last year. [7]

 

Inspections and other actions after the incident:

Post the gruesome incidents there were series of inspections took place, not only in Maharashtra but across major cities in India. In Mumbai, there have been 48434 fire calls received by the Mumbai Fire Brigade since 2008. [8] A whopping 1479 eateries, multiplexes, malls in Mumbai have been flouting fire safety norms. Following the inspection, 386 eateries have been demolished and 36 nightspots in Bandra have been shut down due to non-compliance of fire safety norms among the other violations. According to this report, in 2017 alone, there have been 4790 fire incidents across Mumbai.

Are the violators punished? Are they penalized for deviating the fire safety norms?

Authorities are yet to provide justice to the relatives of the deceased and the injured persons that gutted the Kamala Mill Compound in Mumbai.

This Incident is spoken for a while, then drained from people’s memories as yet another fire accident. At least we should consider this as a lesson to revamp our age-old fire safety rules and have a proper implementation of fire safety norms. Only then can we prevent incidents like these in the future.

 

 

References:
  1. https://www.firstpost.com/india/kamala-mills-building-fire-mumbai-live-updates-major-fire-in-mumbais-lower-parel-leaves-at-least-14-dead-many-injured-4279843.html
  2. https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-kamala-mills-fire-police-issue-look-out-notice-against-owners-of-1above-restaurant/story-DlnBDQQYt8pbu9oRshPucN.html
  3. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/mumbai-kamala-mills-fire-managers-of-1-above-pub-arrested-1119780-2018-01-01
  4. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/kamala-mills-fire-judicial-panel-recommends-action-against-owners/articleshow/65785850.cms
  5. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/bombay-hc-grants-kamala-mills-owners-bail-in-fire-case/articleshow/64197902.cms
  6. https://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/kamala-mills-fire-bombay-high-court-rejects-bail-pleas-of-restaurant-owners-1941360
  7. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/kamala-mills-fire-accused-get-bail-after-nearly-one-year/articleshow/67110872.cms.
  8. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/fires-in-mumbai-claimed-614-lives-in-10-years/articleshow/65678859.cms

 

 


Why Pubs & Rooftop Bars Pose A Major Threat In India? What Can We Do?

Festivals and new year are just around the corner. With festivals comes parties and crowded pubs and restaurants. While it is fun to dine under the stars, rooftop pubs and bars pose a major threat to the safety of the people and infrastructure. In the gruesome Kamala Mills incident in Mumbai, in December 2017, a fire started in a rooftop pub claimed 14 lives because of the negligence of the pub owners. This is not the first case where rooftop clubs and bars have caused an accident leading to loss of life. Let us understand the root cause of the issue.

Worst fire accidents in India

Kamala Mills Fire Accident, December 2017

Why Pubs And Rooftop Cafes Pose A Major Threat In India?

There are many rooftop bars and pubs in India and the craze of dining under the open sky has soared in recent times. While there is nothing with hosting a party at a rooftop café, the problem arises when adequate safety measures are not adopted by the pub owners. Most of these cafes have been built on the terrace of high-rise buildings and with the high rise building the risk related to fire hazard increases. In the case of a fire outbreak, it is difficult to evacuate people speedily to avoid any casualty in high rise buildings.  

After Kamala Mills incident, state’s department of fire and emergency services found out that most of the rooftop bars in the city are running without any NOC certificate from the concerned authorities and have little to no means to mitigate fire-related accidents. Therefore, the root cause of the problem is not the cafes, but the poor management and auditing. Not only fire-related accidents, but the rooftop cafes are also prone to situations where the building can collapse because of the extra pressure on wiring, structure, plumbing, and flooring.  

 

What Can We Do About It?

To prevent the threat posed by rooftop cafes and pubs, the authorities must make it mandatory for the pub owners to obtain a structural safety certificate. The certificate would ensure that the building has appropriate measures to handle emergency situations. The buildings that are 50 or more years old should not be allowed to install heavy machinery such as generators, air coolers on the rooftop to prevent the caving in of the building.

All the rooftop cafes operating in the country must be audited to check the preventative measures adopted by them. Emergency fire exits must be mandatory in high rise buildings where cafes are operating. Firefighting equipment must be installed in the vicinity and the staff must be aware of the basic firefighting techniques to minimize the risk posed by fire accidents. In addition to this, a separate legal entity must ensure that all the rules laid by the government are followed by the café owners properly.

We believe that if the rules are followed properly and appropriate security measures are adopted, rooftop cafes and bars can become the safest and entertaining places for hosting the parties. It is the responsibility of not only legal authorities but café owners as well.

Image Source: Hindustan Times

 


Fire accidents in India in the last two months

India witnesses 25,000 deaths every year due to fire and related accidents. The reason behind this large number of casualties is inadequate fire prevention measures and the lack of strict regulations to curb such accidents. Findings have revealed that most of the deaths in fire accidents are the result of storing inflammable materials in areas that are prone to fire hazards, blocking exit passages and faulty electrical instrument.

 

Here are some of the major fire accidents happened in India in the last two months.

 

1. Fire at Vattamalaikarai reservoir, Tamil Nadu

A major fire broke out in the dried up Vattamalaikarai reservoir, Tamil Nadu spreading across the several acres of the reservoir. The reservoir was used for storing surplus water in 1980. The dried up reservoir was filled with bushes and vegetations. Firemen took three hours to douse the fire. Thankfully, no human life was lost int he accident. You can read more about the accident here.

 

2. Fire accident at Warangal Bus Depot

A major fire accident occurred at the Warangal bus depot in August 2018, charring five buses. The fire was reportedly caused due to a short circuit in an under-repair bus and spread to the four other parked buses in the depot. According to an estimate, the fire accident leads to the loss of INR 50 lakhs to the state government. Read The Times of India’s report on the fire accident here.

 

3. Four Died Due To Suffocation In a Fire Accident In Ludhiana’s Hosiery Factory

A major fire accident at a hosiery factory in the Kalyan Nagar, Ludhiana took four lives on October 10, 2018. The deceased were labourers who were working in the factory when the fire broke out. The fire spread to all the floors of the factory. When the firefighters already working at the spot to douse the fire reached the third floor after extinguishing the fire from the lower floors, four persons were lying unconscious there. It is speculated that the labourers died due to suffocation after not being able to find a passage to escape the building. Here’s a report on the fire accident in Ludhiana.

 

4. Four Injured in Fire Accident in Chemical Factory Situated In Mumbai

Four persons were injured after a fire broke out in a chemical factory in Ambernath in the Thane district of Maharashtra. The reasons behind the fire are unknown. Four people were injured due to the fire and were rushed to a hospital as the fire started spreading in the vicinity. Fire brigade units from Ambernath, Badlapur, Kalyan, and Ulhasnagar helped in dousing the fire.

 

5. 12 People Dead Due To Fire Accident At Bhilai Steel Plant

The fire broke out at the Bhilai Steel Plant on October 10 while routine maintenance leading to the death of 12 people in the accident. 11 others were injured and were rushed to the nearby Bhilai SAIL hospital where a team of doctors treated them. A notice was served to the plant and a case was also registered against them in charge of the plant. Read a report about the accident here.