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Fire incident losses must be minimised

It is disturbing to note that Bangladesh incurred a loss of about Taka 25,000 crore due to fire incidents across the country in the last five years.  The Electronic Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) revealed this information at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club aiming to present the features of the sixth International Fire Safety and Security Expo-2019 to be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city from February 14 to 16. A total of 19,642 fire incidents took place in the country in 2018, causing an economic loss of Taka 386 crore, killing 130 people and injuring 664 more.

Fires destroy property and valuables worth millions of taka in the country every year.

Most of the fire incidents occur during the dry season.  Fire originates mainly from kitchens, burning cigarette stubs and due to electric short circuit.  It is a fact that firemen have to work under various constraints and difficult circumstances. While performing responsibility they sometimes come under attack by agitated mob. Their failures are taken seriously but their achievements are hardly rewarded. The narrow roads and lanes choked with traffic make it difficult for them to reach the spots timely and douse the flames.  Besides, absence of water impedes extinguishing the fire.  

After the catastrophic fire in the Nimtali area of Old Dhaka on June 3, 2010 that killed 124 people the relevant authorities swung into action but that was short-lived. The follow-up programmes did not see the light of day. It is very unfortunate. What is needed is to keep the firemen always busy. In the past, rehearsals for fighting fires used to be seen in the capital city, both at residential areas and office areas but these days those are hardly seen. The authorities concerned should arrange for regular training and firefighting drills for the firemen on a regular basis.    

It would not be wise to rely on the firemen always for extinguishing fire. Common people, particularly students, should learn the tactics of   dousing fires. Students can learn the skills of fighting fires from the firefighting units of different fire stations. There is no alternative to training and exercise for the development of skills and confidence for extinguishing fire.    

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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