Fire fighting is a two way effort we need residents "Vigil and Support" every time
Stressing on the need to make citizens aware about fire safety measures, Aman Sharma, deputy director of fire department, Meerut division, said firefighting requires equal effort from both civilians and firemen.
“It’s a common misconception that after a fire is reported, the sole responsibility of dousing it lies with the fire department. The first responders are always the people and the first 15 minutes of any fire incident is called the golden period as it is during this time period that the fire can be contained. If the residents are vigilant and they manage to contain the fire, then half the job is done even before we reach the spot,” Sharma said.
With over 375 incidents of fire reported from Noida in 2016, the fire department of Gautam Budh Nagar is reaching out to the public in order to make them aware of fire safety measures.
“When a fire is reported from one of the top floors of a high-rise building, then we don’t use hydraulic platforms first. We depend on the firefighting mechanism of the building such as sprinklers and nozzles to spray water in the affected area. We use hydraulic platforms and ladders when that mechanism is absent. Therefore, it is extremely important that builders install firefighting systems and obtain a no objection certificate from us,” Sharma said.
On the recent incidents of fire in Noida, Sharma said usually areas populated by factories are prone to fire. He also referred to the recent fire in a Ghaziabad factory where more than a dozen workers had died due to asphyxiation and burn injuries.
“We have noticed that usually factories have two to three basement floors and it becomes difficult for us to evacuate people. In the recent Ghaziabad tragedy, there was only one exit door in the basement, which resulted in deaths. It is necessary to have an emergency exit. There should be at least two exit doors and a blueprint of the building to assist people. Employers should also ensure that inflammable substances such as paint, oil, carpenter oil, etc, are not kept in the vicinity of a lit gas or stove,” Sharma said.
He said the department intends to educate people regarding safety measures to follow in case of a fire.
“We have state-of-the-art equipment and enough staff to deal with extreme cases of fire but the most crucial element is awareness among people. Fire can happen anywhere, but it is usually caused by negligence,” Sharma said.