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How to prevent fire mishaps?

Mumbai is prone to fire accidents and it is up to BMC to have a disaster management team to press into service during such an eventuality to save the people from major fires. Eye witness account clearly revealed that the blaze in roof top disaster as there was no proper outlet for escape of smoke and the people caught in the melee. How long we manage with such an inefficient system and the lack of equipment to fight fire in busy areas. Mumbai is having number of high rise buildings and ill equipped to fight major fire accidents in tall buildings and keep the city free from major fire mishaps and ensure immediate help without wasting much of the valuable time.

Current statistics of deaths and injuries, in relation to fires proves to be alarming and an increasing number of people affected by losses and fatal injuries are being reported and accounted for each year. Leak in gas pipe and gas cylinders are the root cause for most of the fires. This is in line with smoking, faulty wiring as well as heating equipment as some of the possible causes of fires occurring throughout the country. Given these rates and information, it is only fitting to know the importance of fire prevention and tips.

On December 29, 2017, around 12:30 am in the night a Level 2 fire broke in the happening, congested Kamala Mill Compound in central Mumbai. The fire reportedly originated in ‘1 Above’ resto/hookah bar on the rooftop of the compound and then spread to adjacent restaurant ‘Mojo Bistro’ and the terrace of the building. While the cause of the fire is still unclear, several survivors suggest that it was when burning coal ignited a curtain which in turn set ablaze a temporary roof made of bamboo poles tied together.

Fourteen people were declared Dead on Arrival at KEM Hospital, of which 11 were women out for a ‘Ladies Night’ special at the bars. Even though all of the deceased suffered significant burns, it was finally asphyxiation and Carbon Monoxide poisoning that killed them. Sixteen other people suffered injuries but are now currently stable and at their homes or under care in private hospitals.

Proper exit should be available for escape route in case of a major fire. First, invest in proper equipment. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are some common examples of these. You may begin with installing smoke detectors on every level of hospitals/offices and in bed rooms. Maintenance is also required; therefore detectors must be kept clean and dust-free. Make sure to replace batteries regularly.

Remind yourself that fire safety entails proper planning. You need to be ahead of yourself. Preparing oneself means considering relevant details like importance of escape ladders and fire exits. Some of the hospital and restaurant owners take these things lightly but little did they know how useful these matters could be. Besides, with so many stores selling easy-to-use ladders, access is never really a problem. On the other hand, if you think that this option is still costly, you can just rely on awareness. For instance, sleep with your room’s door closed, as this could help in holding back smoke. Also, make sure that your windows can be easily opened from the inside, thus allowing you to escape using the opening as an alternative route. Keep house corridors and stairways free from obstructions. It is also advisable to keep track of unused supplies like newspapers as these are known combustibles.

Another good tip on how to prevent fires is through proper use of appliances and equipment. Space heaters are useful items but can be a cause of concern if not properly installed. Any type of heating equipment must be maintained and subjected to regular inspection. Fire safety also entails the appropriate use of other tools like extension cords. The kitchen is one place where residents tend to play safe. Unfortunately, it is also the same area where home fires usually begin. Therefore, creating that ambiance of safety is crucial for any restaurant owner. You can start by placing a fire extinguisher at a focal points. Generally, fire prevention and its success lies in one’s ability to determine possible causes and setting out full-proof plans in order to counteract each. Prevention is better than cure is very correct in case of fire in high rise buildings.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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