People to be cautious when using open flames and disposing of smoking materials: Director F&ES
The Jammu and Kashmir fire department has announced a fire safety advisory as a way of reminding people to be cautious when using outdoor open flames and disposing of smoking materials.
“We are concerned that dry weather could spark fires if people aren’t careful,” Rajinder Kumar Hak, Director Fire & Emergency Services told KNS over phone.
The Director said that extremely dry conditions increase the risk for fires to ignite, while windy weather increases the chance and speed for any fire to spread. “We ask everyone to be vigilant. Agriculture produce is vulnerable to fire, so people especially in the rural areas must be caution in this regard,” he said.
Rajinder Kumar further said that the fire department is on job to provide information to the people about the risks associated with the dry weather. “We are explaining preventative actions that we recommend including the removing of dry grasses, overgrown bushes, dead branches of trees,” he said.
He said that the fire department is prepared for any changes to the fire risk. “As weather conditions and the fire risk changes, the fire department will continue to update the status of the fire safety advisory,” he maintained.
He said that Fire and emergency department had already issued advisory to Government Hospital of Kashmir to incorporate various fires fighting mechanism in their respective institutions. “Over the years we have seen increase in fire incidents in Kashmir during the winter season. We suggest people that they should be more careful while using the winter gadgets,” he said.
Meanwhile sources told KNS that baring from few, the Government and Private hospitals, in the state have said to be no major fire fighting system in place, which in turn is endangering the lives of thousands of people.
Sources said that functioning with critical safety gaps including lack of functional Fire-fighting system, the threat of tragedy is looming large over the government hospitals as well as private hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir.
They said that in these government and private hospitals, deficiencies in compartmentalization to prevent spread of smoke and fire from one section to another, lack of smoke management system and unreliable fire management systems have been noticed.
According to the officials in the fire department, in some hospitals using fire-safe doors was not according to the standards. “Apart from the locked gates, there were no water for fire-fighting measures, no emergency power supply and a dysfunctional public address system,” the sources pointed out.
It is to mention here that, the fire safety audit of the GP Panth Hospital Srinagar had pointed out that lives of children and newborns are at risk at the hospital as it lacks basic access points for fire engines besides falling short of other fire safety mechanisms.“The infrastructure- and space-constrained hospital can become a “fire hazard”, as per the official communication by Fire and Emergency Services (FES) to the hospital authorities.
The letter dated 12-12-2015 by Director General Fire and Emergency Services, Kashmir points out at the encroachments in the GP Panth hospital premises “that are an impediment to the movement of the fire engines in case of a fire. “Unfortunately, the setbacks have been encroached by constructing medical shop and attendant sheds. This will disallow the movement of fire engine and will endanger the lives of innocent newborn buds (sic).”
Sources said that the urgent need is a Fire safety audit at all government hospitals in district, sub-divisional level and medical colleges. The fire safety measures at places particularly with electrical installations should be reviewed. (KNS)