Surge in fire incidents
Post by on Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Over the last few years, the valley is witnessing an alarming rise in fire incidents causing damage to property and also resulting in number of deaths and injuries. In yet another unfortunate fire incident yesterday, four residential houses got partially damaged in Nundresh Colony A in Bemina area of Srinagar. Last week also eight shops were gutted in a massive inferno in Barmulla district causing loses of millions of rupees to the shopkeepers. This steady increase in the number of fire incidents depicts the grim picture about the safety of people and their property. The rise in the number of fire incidents is alarming and needs immediate attention from the government and the concerned authorities. From building norms to safety standards applicable to residential properties, fire safety standards pertaining to electrical and mechanical systems, fire safety standards for commercial set-ups and offices – there is a lot that is being ignored by the authorities. While there is no dearth of fire stations in the valley, but there is absence of a suitable policy on prevention of fire hazards in the UT. With building/housing norms rejected conveniently due to the absence of strong legislation on the subject, there is little the department can do. What is more painful to bear is that many important government and public service institutions are ill equipped to fight and prevent fire hazards. On top of it there is scrambled power distribution network ready to catch fire anytime, especially when excessive load causes service lines to heat up. For any place which is congested and without any fire exit for many blocks, the risk is always higher. Same is true for places where fire tenders are unable on time or reach at all. While the administration has had enough time to come up with alternatives and strong policy measures, there is no consolation felt by the people till now. The government can at least push for the implementation of fire safety standards that are pushed aside by the people, builders as well as government officials. The Fire and Emergency department also needs to start massive awareness campaign that can make people aware of how to make infrastructural adjustments in their households to reduce the risk of fire hazards. In addition, it is the responsibility of the people also to implement and obey fire safety rules and fire safety mechanisms in order to reduce the risk of fire incidents in future.