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Fire safety still a major challenge


Published : 15 Feb 2020 09:54 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 03:00 AM
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Over 24,000 fire incidents in 2019 across the country caused damages to properties worth Tk 330.41 crore, fire experts disclosed this recently. 

According to the International Fire Safety and Security expo and Electronic Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) the total estimated economic loss from 24 thousands 74 fire incidents were about Tk 330 crore 41 lakh 28 thousand 744 in 2019. The incidents also claimed lives of 185 while 586 survive maimed. 

It is worth mentioning that the Churihatta fire incident in Chawkbazar that took place last February is considered one of the most tragic. The incident claimed lives of 71 people.  The incident is reminiscent of the November 3, 2010 Nimtali fire incident in Old Dhaka, which killed more than 120 people. 

Unplanned and unauthorized buildings are the major reasons behind this. As a result, safety issues are being neglected in building plan. Fire Service official Ruhul Amin told Bangladesh Post, “We have not yet forgotten the incident of the last year's Banani's FR tower fire. We are not learning from all these events.”

“The garment industry was once frequented by fire. However, after taking various security measures under pressure from foreign buyers, most of the factories are now complying with international safety standards,” he added.

Wahiduzzaman Suja, urban planner of Amin builders said, “We know that chemicals are very combustible. For this reason, the chemical warehouses must be kept at a distance outside the residential area.” Hazardous electrical connections and gas or electric stoves can often cause fires, he added.

According to firefighting statistics, electric short circuits cause 40 to 50 percent of the fires every year in the country. The expert suggested that, after a few years, we need to test electric and gas lines and other accessories. Need to avoid duplicate and substandard wires and equipment.

He further mentioned that, it is also important to have fire extinguishers in various multi-storeyed buildings and to set up fire service stations in all the upazilas.