Blog Archives - Beyond Carlton
Freak Fire
8
Jun

Spike in home freak accidents during lockdown says the surgeons

According to a recent report published in Bangalore Mirror, there is a surge in freak accidents at home. Surgeons are getting 15-20 cases a month during the lockdown when compared to just 1-2 cases in the past. The report claims that there have been freak incidents in the kitchen involving burn injuries. Some incidents involved electrical shocks while people try to fix malfunctioning electrical equipment at home. Some of these incidents have resulted in 2nd-degree burns.

Why is there a sudden surge?

The sudden increase in the home freak incidents is due to frustration, excitement, lack of availability of labour, anxiety and stress.

Were our homes safer before the lockdown?

While the increase in freak incidents is worrying, our homes weren’t safe even before the lockdown. According to the NCRB report 2018, residential fires accounted for 56 per cent of all the fire accidents.

What are the causes of residential fires?

Cooking fires – Unattended cooking, pans catching fire, hot oil catching fires.

Electrical equipment – Overloading of sockets, using heavy equipment in extension cords, frayed wires.

Smoking in bedrooms

Candles/ diyas or incense sticks

Children playing with fire

LPG gas bursts – It is one of the major causes of deaths due to accidental fires in India. According to NCRB report 2018, as many as 2672 people, of which 1967 were women, were killed in cooking gas explosions.

Apart from this, our modern homes have a lot of highly combustible materials like upholstery, decorative material and also electrical gadgets.

In India, most of the home fire accidents are caused by cooking fires and electrical short-circuit.

Here are some useful resources that could help prevent fires:

How to deal with burn injuries

Home fire safety checklist

A complete guide to electrical fire safety

LPG fire safety

Image source: Flickr

Burn wards memorandum: With Deputy CM of Karnataka
19
Feb

Memorandum to the Deputy Chief Minister – Burns wards

The Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister

Government Of Karnataka

Vidhana Soudha

Bengaluru,

Sir,

      Sub: Establishment of Burns Unit-Hospitals-Karnataka

Founded in the aftermath of the fire that broke out in the Carlton Towers Building, Domlur, Beyond Carlton is a registered public charitable trust whose objective is to advocate and promote a culture of fire safety in the country. As part of our first initiative, we successfully petitioned the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in W.P. 39874/2013 for guidelines for enforcement of fire safety regulations in the state resulting in the issuance of the notification dated 07th of July, 2011 for inspection of buildings to monitor compliance of fire safety regulations. Subsequently, we have been actively organising lectures and programs on fire safety in the country and remain committed to the cause of addressing fire safety concerns to prevent loss of life due to fire incidents.

With that said, we are writing this letter to you to address an urgent and pressing gap in addressing the issue of death due to fire incidents, i.e., the establishment of burns units in government hospitals in the state. We have reliably learnt that the Central Government has formulated the National Programme for Prevention and Management of Burn Injuries (NPPMBI) for establishing burns units in government hospitals across the country and to this end, a budget of Rs. 450 crores was earmarked as part of the 12th five-year plan. We are also given to believe that while 75% of the cost of setting up such burns units in each state will be borne by the centre, the balance 25% of the cost will be born by the state. A copy of the NPPMBI is enclosed for your reference.

Upon further inquiry to determine the status of the implementation of the NPPMBI, we are heartened to note that in addition to 16 other states, Karnataka has also signed an MoU with the Centre to implement the noble objectives of the NPPMBI. The unfortunate reality remains that every 5th fire-related death in the world is that of an Indian. Often times the death due to fire incidents could have been avoided by ensuring access to focused and specialised healthcare services and skin banks for burn injuries. But due to lack of subsidized accessible healthcare services for burn injuries, recent fire incidents in the country have witnessed an alarming number of deaths that could have otherwise been prevented with timely intervention.

We, therefore, sought clarifications from the Central Government on the status of the NPPMBI and learnt that the utilisation certificate for the allocated budget of 450 crores to set up burns units have not been furnished yet. Furthermore, we also learnt that under the NPPMBI, only burns unit in Mysore Medical College and Hospital has been set up in the city of Mysuru. While we are pleased that Karnataka is one of the few states to set up a one of its kind skin bank, we are also acutely aware that a singular skin bank cannot address the healthcare needs of the entire state. In addition, we also appreciate and remain grateful for the burns unit set up in Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru and the one in Mysuru Medical College and Hospital. Though it is a step ahead in the right direction, you would appreciate that a burns unit is necessary in every district at government hospitals, if we are to ensure that every 5th fire-related death in the world is that of an Indian.

Your good self has an excellent background in the field of healthcare and the government, both at the state and the centre have inspired hope of dynamic and positive changes for the healthcare needs of ordinary common men and women of this country. Therefore, with the above background, we request you to kindly prepare a roadmap and a plan and undertake the following,

  1. Setting up a burns unit in every government hospital in the State of Karnataka and also direct that every private hospital in the state should have a dedicated burns unit to provide emergency care for burn injuries.

  1. Set up skin banks across the state of Karnataka to assist the treatment of serious burn injuries.

  1. Expedite the utilisation of the NPMMBI budget for setting up of burns units in the state.

  1. Formulate a training program for healthcare service providers to treat burn injuries and ensure the availability of such healthcare professionals trained for burn injuries across the State of Karnataka.

The Constitution of India guarantees to all of us, the right to bodily autonomy and bodily integrity as well as the right to health as part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. We believe that if our requests are acceded and the above infrastructure and resources are allocated for treating burn injuries, Karnataka would take a significant step forward in ensuring that people of this state can truly realise the benefits of these fundamental rights.

Beyond Carlton remains ready and willing to assist this government in implementing these programs, which we feel is imperative to prevent loss of life due to fire incidents. We, therefore, request you to kindly facilitate and expedite these reforms and do the needful and oblige.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully

Uday Vijayan

Managing Trustee & President

surat fire
5
Dec

Worst Fire Accidents In 2019

With leading globalization and leading urge to cater to all the human population at once, one can see how long we have come across just constructing buildings all over. The construction policies, government regulations and certain other international policies are to be followed, no matter what other things are compromised for. But in recent times, because of lack of space or cluttering to metros, people are taking up to violating these policies thus leading to fire hazards and prone to other more disasters.

There are many policies that stand tall and hard against fire accidents. Even when they are unpredictable, they still can be avoided. But there are many firms, agencies and even housing societies that do not follow the norms.

Here are the 8 worst fire accidents in India in the year 2019 so far:

1) 43 Killed in an Anaj Mandi in Delhi

Anaj Mandi Fire Delhi

On December 8, 2019, as many as 43 people were killed in a gruesome fire accident in Delhi. The fire was reportedly started in a 4-storey illegal factory unit in Anaj Mandi, Delhi. At least 50 labourers were reported to be sleeping in the cramped space. The illegal factory unit had no license to operate a factory and moreover there were no fire safety equipment. There were only two exits from the building of which one was blocked by stacking of materials. As there was a very small exit route, most of the labourers were trapped inside the burning building.

 

2) 23 Killed in Surat coaching centre fire accident 

 

surat fire

The Surat accident had everyone held uptight because of how it turned out to be in the end. May 24th, 2019 saw a very huge accident when a fire broke out because of human errors in the tuition classes in Surat. The tuition classes back then had a number of students coming up for their summer vacations classes. There were about 23 killed in the fire accident.

It all started with the wrong construction of the extra floor as the “pent” floor. There were tires that acted as the seats for the students. The major violation of National Building Code (NBC) guidelines, was to have constructed the extra floor which was not permitted. The disaster left all of India in shock. Many students died in the course of evacuation and rescue. It was gut-wrenching to see people falling down from the burning building. [Source]

3) 17 killed in Karol Bagh – February 12, 2019

 

Karol Bagh fire

Source: Times Of India

The February month of 2019 saw a massive fire on the fifth floor of the Arpit Palace, Karol Bhag, New Delhi. It was the late hours of the night when the fire broke out because of a short-circuit and resulted in the entire floor is on fire. The adjacent floor too eventually caught fire. There were families heading out for marriage the very next morning. Many people had to jump off the building for the sake of their lives. There were about 17 people who died in this accident and many more were injured.

The cause of the fire was clear to be a short-circuit. But what lied beneath all the fire was the fact that there were many regulatory policies that were not followed. The area was far beyond what they had been granted, and the fire extinguishers were out of gas. [Source]

4) 150 cars gutted in Aero India show fire and a similar incident in Chennai – February 23 & 24, 2019

 

aero india fire

Source: NDTV

During the annual Aero India show in the month of February, a massive fire broke out at the parking lot. almost 300 cars were gutted in the fire. According to the sources, the fire started from dry grass and spread rapidly due to strong winds. [1]

Similarly, a fire in a parking lot in Chennai gutted around 170 cars. According to the sources, the cars were parked by a private company over the last year. The fire is reportedly due from an overheated silencer in one of the parked cars which became uncontrollable due to strong winds. [2]

These two incidents led to a huge property loss. Sources: [1], [2]

 

5) 13 workers charred to death in a chemical explosion at Mumbai – August 13, 2019

 

chemical factory fire

Source: DNA India

A fire triggered by a leaking chemical barrel led to massive explosions in a chemical unit in Sirpur, Mumbai. The explosion happened at 9.45 am and at that time there were at least 100 employees. The fire chemical leakage triggered and due to the fire, there were serial blasts from the nitrogen cylinders. Source

6) 9 lives perished in a cloth godown fire accident in Delhi – December 23, 2019

kirari fire accident Delhi

Just a few weeks after the gruesome Anaj Mandi fire accident, Delhiites woke up to yet another horrendous fire accident in a cloth godown at Kirari area. The glaring violations such as no fire safety equipment, poor access and only one staircase, makes one wonder, how these godowns were allowed to operate. [source]

7) 5 killed in Pune Cloth Godown Fire – May 9, 2019

 

pune-fire

Source: India Today

A massive fire in a cloth godown in Pune killed 5 people who were the employees of Rajyog wholesale saree centre, Urli Devachi. The cause of the fire is unknown. The fire broke at the wee hours, the employees were asleep. They could not escape the fire as the godown was locked from outside.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/5-dead-in-blaze-at-pune-cloth-godown/articleshow/69244856.cms

8) 5 Killed in Dibrugarh house fire, October 20, 2019.

 

Dibugarh house fire

Source: North East Today

A fire triggered by a burning candle kills 5 in a house at Dibrugarh. According to the reports, the incident took place at 1.30 am when the family was sleeping. The fire from the burning candle spread quickly as the house was made of combustible materials like wood, bamboo and tarpaulin, the fire caused an LPG blast. Also, the fire spread to the nearby houses. Source

In all these accidents, one can be very sure that fire safety awareness and sensitive approach to fire safety could have played a huge difference. Many of these incidents are mainly due to violation of fire safety laws and nonchalance which we always point out.

Notre dame paris
7
Nov

The lessons we can learn from more advanced nations on Fire safety:

The recent rise in fire accidents rings a sudden alarm for one and all to take care of themselves and the people around. There has been a hike by about 17% in the fire accidents as opposed to the last decade. Rapid urbanization is one of the reasons for this rise. With the increase in the demand for constructions of dwelling and commercial buildings almost everywhere, people are still having a hard time finding an area that they would want. Fraudulent practices have been on the rise because of a lot of reasons, but that is now costing us all human lives.

Given the prevailing laxity on fire safety, India is at greater risk from fires. Fire is the 3rd biggest risk for Indian businesses, according to FICCI Pinkerton Indian Risk Survey 2018.

FICCI India Risk Survey 2018

Source: FICCI India Risk Survey 2018

Lessons we can learn from developed nations:

There are many lessons we can learn from the already developed nations on fire safety. Here are some of the main things we could focus on:

1. Planned cities yield more security:

Planned cities, constructions yield a lot more security. Undesirable Illegal structures,  poor architecture and design can be avoided when the government takes up initiatives to just look at urban planning,, building by building in a city. The US ensures the policy of taking permissions very seriously and then planning up the rest of the city. The developing nations too should take this up seriously.

2. Taking responsibilities seriously with constructions:

Constructions need to abide by all of the policies and guidelines that exist with the nation, tas defined by the government authorities, Each officer taking responsibility to ensure more fire-safe buildings could lead to fire protected structures.

3. Using the latest equipment to curb fires:

Fire Equipment in the developed nations like the United Kingdom is advanced in the ways they operate. Technology has come a long way through in curbing even large spread fires, and buildings here should be equipped with the same. Even if it is not a part of the regulatory policy, people should build up a habit of installing the latest technology in their buildings and urge the fire authorities to upgrade their own learnings to fight against fire hazards.

4. Serious inspection:

Developed nations take inspection rather seriously. There is less corruption, political influence or any other sort of things that you might see in the developing nations. The driving force behind this is to not put people’s lives at risk just because there are some underlying benefits of one particular party/person. This is one thing the developing nations need to take rather seriously.

5. Building permits or certification should be renewed regularly:

The buildings grow old and structures fall incapable of a lot of things that they initially were capable of. That is the reason why there are building certifications in every nation, for every building. The developed nations take these permits seriously and even if there is one feature that doesn’t meet required standards and invites fire hazards, the building needs to be rectified or made unoccupiable

If we do not give importance to fire safety, every city in our country will become a tinderbox and we may lose many more lives and property to fire accidents

Burn Injury
11
Oct

What can you do when you get accidental burns?

Accidental burns are completely inevitable. You cannot anticipate it, and yet you need to learn and know what can be done in situations like these. Accidental burns can happen for a lot of reasons, but one thing still rules that you cannot just let the burns be. No matter what degree of burns they are, you can only give immediate help to the victim but not let that rest. Doctors must be consulted right after the accident and get the required assistance.

 

What do you do when you get accidental burns? Even if you are away from hospitals, there are certain basic things you can still carry on forward and make the pain of the victim a little lesser.

 

1. Driveaway the source of the fire:

The source of the fire should be immediately extinguished or driven away. You cannot do anything up until the source is away from the victim. Take the patient away from the fire and start with first calming down the patient.

 

2. Get hold of a blanket and wrap the patient in it:

Seal any door of oxygen inlet from the blanket to the patient. There should be no oxygen flow and completely cover the person up. The fire will eventually die down and the patient’s body temperature will stabilize a little. Now that the temperature has been brought to a level, you can take forward by soothing the burns on the skin.

 

3. Water helps in minor burns:

water in the burn injury

Throwing water or making the person stand under a flowing stream of water helps a lot only when the burns are not major. Major Burns will swell up excessively because of the temperature change and will result in some other things.

Take the patient to the doctor immediately and make sure the person is treated well.

What to do if it’s a water burn?

Liquid burns can be really tough to handle and can drive the person really tensed all across the floor. But water burns have a way of tackling with them:

1. Apply cool running water:

Not frozen water, but just cool water helps. Apply cool running water and make sure the source of boiling water is now way away from the person. Make the person stand below the flowing water and you will see sudden calm coming by the patient. The burn stops burning now.

2. Remove any jewellery or synthetic fibre that you might be wearing:

The fiber or the ornaments you are wearing might end up sticking up to the burn injury and slowly seeping in the skin. The skin now is very sensitive and all the pores are open. The fibres usually end up getting tangled with the injury-causing more pain and more aggravation.

3. Cover the wound:

The burn needs to be covered now with a bandage. But make sure the skin is not loose or is not greasy to attract cotton or the bandage material to get stuck with the skin layers.

Here are some quick tips that may help you while dealing with accidental burns:

1. Have a first aid kit since it is an inevitable accident and you may never know when you need it.
2. Call for help as soon as you see the accident.
3. Appy water for only 10-15 min and don’t waste much time for approaching medical assistance.
4. Cover the wound with a sterile non-adhesive bandage from first aid kit.
5. If it is major fire accident direct people (with a minor injury) to the emergency exit and the assembly point.
6. Conduct regular drills to know what can be done in accidental burns to make everyone aware.

Burn marks and accidents are very complicated to tackle with. There are different types of burn marks and different types of ways in which you can tackle each burn mark. The end line still remains the same- Consult a doctor nevertheless.

 

Life long battle of a Burn victim
17
Sep

The lifelong struggles of a burn survivor

Surviving a fire accident is not easy. The aftermath, the anxiety with life, the burn marks left with the body for the rest of the life and there are just so many issues to tackle with for a survivor. There is no guide for a survivor to abide by, no one to tell what to really feel. But it all starts with- you. You will be the starting point of anything that follows. If you don’t sort out things in your head, which admittedly would be tough, things will never fall in place. But the only thing that eventually matters is- you made it out alive.

There are no proper guidelines you need to stick to, but here are some things that might be of help to a survivor:

1. The new set of bodily challenges:

A burn survivor usually has a lot of burn marks, skin doesn’t feel right at places and there are places which still hurt. But the new set of challenges shouldn’t really make someone feel too low of them. There will be a new set of bodily challenges, there will be more of mental challenges to be handled with, but nothing should stop the unstoppable.

2. The mental state is important:

Any cure starts with someone being mentally ready to accept the cure. If someone just doesn’t want to start healing up on whatever happened, there’ nothing the doctor and the technology can do for them. It starts with being mentally active and readily acceptable; then moves forth to the rest of the challenges.

3. Accept whatever has been done with:

Withdrawal symptoms are real and people often get sucked into this. There will be many times when you start questioning yourself as “Why me?” But these thoughts will only mean that you will be sucked into the loop of self-destruction. Accepting whatever has happened is a way to figure what can be done next.

4. All the people won’t be harsh:

Not everyone’s going to stare at you when you go out, not everyone’s going to ask you what happened to your skin and how. It’s fine to go out more often and not explain anyone whatever you don’t feel like. No two people are the same and that explains why you should trust yourself and enjoy life as it comes. Sulking will only mean you will lose out on whatever you are left with.

5. Self-critique is not a good option:

Being a self-critique is never an option when it comes to sensitive situations like these. Being self-motivated is what helps the best. Self-critique turns up to be more of a burden on to the shoulders of the one having these troubles than of help.

6. Intimacy is not an issue:

A lot of burn survivors usually freak out on the idea of being intimate with someone else. But there are people who love others beyond their physical appearances. You are beautiful anyway, and intimacy will never be an issue.

You are not a burn victim, you are a survivor. Wear the badge like a pro and move on with the rest of the life. There will be many challenges thrown at you, but trust the process and your destiny- It’s going to settle.

Are you an accidental burn victim? or do you know someone who is a fire accident survivor? Tell us their story, reach us at info@beyondcarlton.org. We’d like to feature you.

#FirekillsPreventit

 

Image source: Creativecommons.org

22
Aug

Appalling State Of Fire Safety In Delhi And The Worst Fire Accidents In The Past Three Months

A few days ago, there was a massive fire at AIIMS Delhi. Delhi is yet another tinderbox of India following Mumbai. We have been reading a lot about the poor state of fire safety in our country, especially in Delhi. In the recent past, there is an increase in the number of fire accidents in the capital city, which made us look back at the incidents. Here are some of them:

AIIMS Fire (17 August 2019)

AIIMS Fire Delhi

Source: Business Today

The fire was due to a short-circuit. Luckily there was no causality. But it was alleged that many buildings in the premise do not have fire department’s NOC. Also, there were many encroachments which were hindering the firefighting. (Source)

Cloth Market in Gandhi Nagar (14 August 2019)

A major fire in Asia’s largest cloth market in Gandhi Nagar gutted 6 shops. The fire department could not reach the spot as the roads were too narrow due to encroachments. The fire started in a godown, and the shop owners took no fire safety measures. (Source)

Apartment Fire in Zakir Nagar (6 August 2019)

A fire in an apartment in Zakir Nagar claimed 6 lives and left nearly 20 injured. The fire was due to an electrical short-circuit in the meter board. (Source)

Factory Fire In Jhilmil Industrial Area (12 July 2019)

3 killed in a gruesome fire in a factory in Jhilmil Industrial Area. According to the officials, the factory did not have the fire department’s NOC.

Fire in DGHS (5 July 2019)

On July 5, 2019, there was a major fire in a building where we have the Directorate General of Health Services’ (DGHS) office, Karkardooma area of Delhi. The fire started on the 6th floor of the building, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Allegedly, the building did not possess the fire department’s NOC and the firefighting equipment were not working at the time of this incident.

Government buildings in Delhi


Last month there was an article in India Today,  many government buildings in Delhi have shown very little or no regard to fire safety measures.

Later, in the wake of this accident, it was found that not only the DGHS office but there are also many such buildings in Delhi without the fire department’s NOC. The buildings like, Shastri Bhawan, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indraprastha Bhawan, CGO complex are to name a few. There was a minor fire in Shastri Bhawan Building on 9 June 2019. There was another fire in Connaught place building on June 8th, where nearly 100 people were rescued.

(Source)

These accidents took place very recently, shows us the glaring violations in adhering to the fire safety laws.

To add to this, the Delhi fire department is plagued by a lack of manpower. There are a total of 3,195 posts sanctioned for fire officials but 1,495 are vacant. Also, 59 out of 90 stations run without station officers. Of the 44 posts sanctioned for senior officials, 10 are vacant. (published here)

Fire safety in Delhi falls in a vicious circle. Only a massive fire safety drive can save this fire capital of India. #FirekillsPreventit

Featured image source: Deccan Herald

building-on-fire-1211010
3
Jul

How does a fire spread? How can it get dangerous?

There can be many reasons for anything to catch fire and for the entire thing to go up in flames. But it is equally important to know how does fire spread through rooms of any building until there’s nothing left? How can you possibly anticipate that the fire that just broke out is going to take an ugly turn? All of these questions are actually pretty vague provided every situation demands different explanations, but all of them route down to the basics- How it spread and how many lives it claimed.

 

How does a fire spread?

Fire can actually spread because of a lot of reasons but these are the basic things because of which it does- Fuel, oxygen, good fire conducting materials around. So to break it down, these elements mentioned have different effects on fire that just broke out. Consider an electrical short circuit in one of the rooms of a building in question. The fire that broke in this room will take no time before it engulfs all of the rooms within. So, why does it do this? Here’s an analysis of the same:

Fire-Triangle

1. Fuel:

If there are cylinders around carrying cooking gas, expect a very big explosion along with fire spread. Fuel is not just a good conductor of heat, it is an inflammable substance. Now with these lying around, there’s always a chance of bigger explosions and then spreading fire through the materials around like- plastic chairs, curtains of polyester and the likes. So fuel containers lying around are big hazard red alarms.

2. Oxygen:

Oxygen always facilitates the combustion process. It allows the fire to spread and not to blow off. This is why we have been taught to cover people on fire with thick blankets to allow oxygen to die out. So with wind blowing and oxygen in there, fire is bound to spread in the direction the wind blows.

3. Materials:

Good conductors of heat like plastics, cloth materials, wood and the likes, the fire will just catch up from one object to the other nevertheless. This can be avoided to some extent by not using highly reactive materials just beside an electric supply. Always keep these materials a little away from electric supply, gadgets and the same.

How can it get dangerous?

This is a tricky question. But the answer lies in the very same reasons why the fire spread. Using Poly-ethane and substances made of plastic, cloth materials and polyester clothing will definitely give a boost to the fire already out there. Soon, all of what’s there in the room will catch fire and the temperature will go beyond 1,400 Fahrenheit. There will be thick smoke around that will make nothing visible and difficulty in breathing. With this thick smoke, survival becomes a challenge because all of the oxygen has been used up for combustion there.

Again, fire can get dangerous with gas cylinders lying around. Cooking gases are usually in containers properly sealed but with temperature going beyond their ignition point, the gas will ignite and let out explosions. This explosion cuts down any survival chance for people lying just beside the gas cylinders.

The best way out there is to stay away from elevators, electric boards, gadgets and gas cylinders. Crawl on the floor until you find the exit way and go away from the building on fire to avoid any further casualty from explosions and smoke.

17
Jun

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
30
Apr

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.