Fire safety audit
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Fire safety audit

Post by on Monday, May 23, 2022

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In the wake of rising fire incidents in the valley, J&K government ordered fire safety audit of all the government buildings with immediate effect. According to an official statement issued on Saturday, a meeting was convened by Principal Secretary wherein it was revealed that the fire safety audit of all the government buildings would be completed immediately in Jammu and Kashmir. This is a much needed step taken by the administration and must be appreciated but still much more needs to be done in that regard. The increasing number of fire incidents in the valley is a cause of fear and worry. In the last few years, fires have consumed residential and commercial properties, caused serious damage to life and passed on without drawing any serious attention. With dozens of shops gutted and homes leveled each year, the officials and the people should have drawn lessons. Unfortunately they haven’t as fires in Kashmir around this time are only a spark away. According to official figures in 2019-2020, the valley witnessed 1833 and 1900 fire incidents and in 2021, 2058 fire incidents were reported across the valley. These figures reveal the gravity of the situation and demand urgent attention.  No one can deny the fact that damage caused by fire incidents is irreparable as houses are razed to ground, commercial structures are swallowed, livelihood of the people is affected, and like we have seen in the recent fire at Nigeen Lake, dreams are shattered as victims in a day are turned destitute and hopeless. One may ask the question, how many advisories have been issued in the last six months by the authorities on the frequent fires here? The UT also happens to be among the first victims as each time there is a genuine demand for rehabilitation, meaning the state exchequer has to be billed for damage and compensation. The growing number of fire incidents in Kashmir has set the bells ringing. Many critics are of the opinion that fire tenders and the department are not fitted to bring any relief. Congestion has compounded the problem, and with inflammable material all around, people are sitting on the powder keg. The administration must wake up, call a meeting and deliberate on the issues and find a suitable solution to bring down the fire hazard incidents in the UT. The government also needs to push for the implementation of fire safety standards that are pushed aside by the people, builders as well as government officials. People also must share the responsibility and see to it that all combustible material is properly stored. It has been seen in the past that lack of proper policy for mitigation, prevention, preparedness and prompt response to fire mishaps has proved costly for people.

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