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Rise in Fire incidents- A matter of concern

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By: Ishfaq Manzoor

We have been witnessing huge rise in the fire incidents in the valley of Kashmir and it is very unfortunate as such incidents involves loss of human life, valuable properties essential assets etc.It is a matter of concern that fire incidents are reported each day. The fire incidents are not only reported from city of Srinagar but almost across all the districts of valley including Baramulla,Budgam,Anantnag,Kulgam and Ganderbal etc.

As per the reports of Fire and emergency department (F&ES) near about 660 fire incidents have been reported from the valley in the first three months of this year and the data suggest that property worth 35.72 crores was damaged and goods worth 31.30 croreswere destroyed in the incidents of fire.As per the figure by the Joint Director,Fire and Emergency Services,Kashmir range, the highest number of fire incidents were reported from district of Srinagar followed by Baramulla.

The department has been instrumental in safeguarding many lives and saving properties worth crores by their prompt action and agility. As per report, the department has saved property worth Rs 27.75 crores in these incidents and that is quite a job done.

Though the report suggests the details of just the first three months, we have however seen many more incidents of fire in the city as well as across the districts and the alarming rise in such incidents needs a thorough investigation that would check the main causes of such incidents. This would be the only way to formulate a strategy to avoid such unfortunate eventualities.

The reasons might also involve the absence of fire extinguishers in commercial buildings, absence of proper fire management system, negligence while switching on and off electrical appliances and cooking gas, absence of proper construction plans etc.We have seen that on many occasions, the constructions involve the lack of proper engineering designs and experts are not consulted while construction- whether residential or commercial.This too becomes a cause of concern since such structures are vulnerable to fire and other incidents as these often miss proper fire management and fire safety designs. The improper laying of electrical wires has also caused cases of incidents of fire.

It is obvious that the fire and emergency services (F&ES) department has to play the key role but it cannot help us if we keep repeating the mistakes and do not follow the  fire safety measures and methods in the construction plans etc. it is also important that we have mass awareness programmes for the people regarding the fire safety management so as to ensure that our ignorance or negligence does not become a reason for such unfortunate incidents.

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