When death by fire is imminent the regret probably is - “I could have lived if I had obeyed the rules”
When we talk of fire safety, fire control or whatever we may choose to call it, we actually speak of post and pre emergency situations in the same breath. Unless we speak of raging forest fires that happen in certain parts of the world, mostly in the hot summer season, fire can do little bodily harm to an average person in an open area as compared to any closed premises. However, in a closed area seconds can make the difference between life and death. Yet, there is a fair amount of casual behavior on the part of supposedly responsible people in ensuring that closed premises are equipped to provide visibility and safe passage to people trapped inside in the case of a fire.
Fire regulatory bodies today, understand the need to educate commoners and the uninformed masses about the dangers of accidental fires and the need to be ready and equipped to prepare for such eventualities. Many cities and towns have respective fire officials conduct drills, seminars and training sessions from time to time to help people help themselves in case of accidental fires. But it should be equally the duty of common people to get out there and educate themselves on the laws and norms of fire safety and avail of the opportunities provided by well meaning authorities and bodies engaged in fire safety and protection.
As far as laws and regulations go, today in india, we have in place a building code where fire safety protocols are spelt out in clear terms. It is also to be understood that these are non-negotiable and if any closed premises be they malls, godowns, offices or even houses are found flouting them, criminal action can be initiated against everybody down the line from developer, builder, architect to owner or tenant. In recent times, the cases of uphaar fire and kamala mills are but two examples where this has been done. Yet, people never seem to learn as every new case throws up the same list of avoidances and non-compliances of the building code.
Do you believe things can change? If not, do you have any suggestions to offer concerning your own surroundings at home, at work or any place? If so do write in and we could just surprise you by publishing your blog in our pages.