Recently, several tragic fire incidents had occured across India that claimed innocent lives mainly due to sloppiness of the administration, lack of safety measures. The Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI) a non-profit organization representing the Fire Protection, Life Safety, Security, Loss Prevention and Risk Management domains has prepared an analysis report for the major fire which broke out at a military canteen in South Mumbai and the other which erupted at the set of Balaji Telefilms’ ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’ in Chandivli.
Manoj Shenoy, President, FSAI Mumbai chapter has mentioned about the preventive steps that could have been taken to avoid the massive fire incidents.
Speaking about the fire which erupted in a military canteen at Dockyard Road, South Mumbai on October 25, 2014 Manoj Shenoy suggested, “As a canteen typically houses various types of combustible materials such as cooking oil, liquor, clothing materials, paper products, it should ideally have a Fire Alarm System with special type of detectors (IR) to detect flaming fires, as liquor (alcohol) fire does not generate smoke at incipient stage. Canteen should have been fitted with sprinkler system. Our experience says, they neither have a FAS or Sprinkler system.”
“Apart from keeping conventional type of extinguishers, they should have ceiling mounted modular extinguishers of ABC powder. As a preventive measure, all electrical supply to canteen should be switched off before closing the canteen,” added Mr Shenoy.
Mr Shenoy also mentioned about the steps which could have been taken to avert the fire incident which occurred at Balaji Telefilms in Chandivali on October 24, 2014. He said, “A serial set is typically made from temporary wooden and coir material. The light man standing overhead on Tarappa is supported by thick wooden planks, again a combustible material. The asbestos roof is covered with coal tar sheet or Damber, for water proofing, which is again a petroleum product. This means a typical serial set consists mostly of combustible materials from bottom (flooring, walls) to top (Tarappa and Roof). The source of heat / spark may come from a short circuit, loose wires running across the length and breadth of the film set, welding, cutting work, LPG cylinder used by local caterer to serve lunch to people working at film set.”
“Few sets have installed detectors, during the audits of FSAI team at Balaji Telefilms and Famous Studios, but the panel is kept off during shooting, as the director does not want to be disrupted by accidental activation of hooters. There is no point having a system which is kept off when it is really needed. As per the guidelines of fire safety, just installing the fire safety systems will not suffice, the most important is deploying qualified and trained fire personnel during each shift” added Mr Shenoy.
FSAI conducts fire safety and life safety audits in association with the fire brigade to promote and advance the use of fire safety and security systems. It also aims to work closely with the Government and other stakeholders to enable the Indian fire and security industry to reach global pre-eminence with better regulatory framework.