The advent of summer has brought with it a slew of major fire accidents and some tragic deaths too. While chairing a meeting with Chief Ministers on the COVID-19 situation in the country on April 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concern over the increasing cases of fire accidents in India amid a rise in temperatures. After speaking about the COVID-19 situation, the vaccination drive, and fuel prices in the country, PM Modi spoke about the rise in fire accidents, especially at hospitals. "I want to speak on one more topic. The heat is increasing rapidly in the country," PM Modi said. Expressing his concern over the increase in fire accidents in the country, PM Modi said, "The heat has come before its actual time. In the time of rising heat, we are seeing increasing incidents of fire at different places." He added, "We are seeing the fire accidents in jungles, in important buildings, in hospitals. Some of these incidents of fire have happened in the last few days."
The fire department and disaster management bodies pan India regularly run campaigns to educate people on fire safety, conduct drills and have programs to create awareness, but considering the increase in incidents, it seems no one is listening. Here are a few incidents that should shake anyone out of his or her slumber:
· Fire accidents have seen a steady rise in Ghaziabad with 910 cases in 2020 and 981 in 2021, data obtained from the fire department. Between January 1 and March 31 this year, 207 fire accidents were reported claiming 2 human and 2 animal lives.
· 17th April 2022: Two fire mishaps were reported in North Bengaluru on Saturday. However, no casualties were reported. In the first incident, a fire broke out in the BBMP chief engineers chamber in Byatarayanapura as the air conditioner exploded. The furniture and other materials were completely gutted. The staff alerted the fire and emergency personnel who rushed to the spot and doused off the fire. Amruthahalli police who conducted spot inspection found that no documents or files were damaged. In the second incident, a fire broke out in a furniture manufacturer unit on Thanisandra main road and seven fire tenders were pressed into service. Furniture worth Rs 5 lakh was gutted. An official said that the mishap occurred around 1.30 am and the residents who found the fire, alerted the officials immediately. A team of police officers conducted search and sent the samples to FSL to ascertain the cause. Short circuit is suspected to be the cause.
· 30th April, 2022: The Bhalswa landfill in Northern Delhi continues to burn on the fifth day. The Fire services have not been able to completely douse the fire that started at Bhalswa landfill. As per the visuals, smoke and small fires are still seen in the landfill area. As per the officials, the toxic Methane gas is being released from the Bhalswa landfill area in New Delhi which is reacting under high temperature and causing difficulties in the operation. The toxic gas ignites the fire and makes it difficult for the fire-fighting services to douse it completely from the area. Moreover, the soaring temperature in New Delhi is another reason for the increase in intensity of fire.
· 7th May, 2022: 7 people were burnt alive in a fire accident on Saturday. A fire broke out in a two-storey building in Swarn Bagh Colony of Indore where seven people were charred to death whereas nine were rescued. According to the preliminary information, a fire broke out in a two-storey building in Swarn Bagh Colony between 04:00 am- 05:00 am on Saturday morning due to a short circuit. Earlier on Monday, a fire broke out at a petrol pump in Madhya Pradesh's Indore creating a situation of panic among the people. The incident happened at the GPO petrol pump near the BRTS corridor when a petrol tanker was unloading fuel. A sudden blaze started creating chaos among the staff, the customers and the driver of the petrol tanker. The employees of the petrol pump tried to douse off the fire with the help of fire extinguishers and soon their efforts paid off, thus preventing a major accident in the city. Fortunately, no death or injuries were reported in the incident. Fire tenders had also rushed to the spot along with police for further investigation.
Fire safety is not so much about running with a bucket when a fire is burning as it is about taking preventive steps to protect one’s domain from fire in the first place. Follow NBC norms, install basic fire safety material in strategic places in the premises and observe basic safety procedures as required and mandatory to obtain fire safety licence from the authorised body concerned. That’s the least one must do.