Collector rues the lack of fire alarm at the collectorate

Friday’s fire accident at the Collectorate that burnt several records has turned the attention of the district administration towards putting in place fire-safety features in all Government buildings.

The accident has revealed how unsafe Government buildings are in the face of fire accidents. Poor maintenance of electrical equipment, lack of safety features like an automatic power tripper, fire alarm systems and absence of fire extinguishers at the Collectorate had led to files and furniture being gutted, before it was noticed by the watchman.

“If there was a fire alarm, people could have acted much earlier. The fire is supposed to have been triggered by the dry battery of a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) equipment of a computer,” Collector Anshul Mishra, said.

He said that besides replacing the worn out batteries and other electrical items, fire alarms and automatic trippers would be put in Government offices.

“The work is likely to be completed in two or three months,” he added.

All efforts would be taken to protect Government buildings from mishaps like this and the staff would given training on proper usage of electrical equipment, like switching off the power etc. before the offices are locked.

He added that lack of training in disaster management had also aggravated the situation.

Instead of the firemen trying to call the officials of the electricity department to switch of the power, if they were aware of the main switchboard at the Collectorate the power would have been switched off early and the damage could have been minimised, he noted.

He said that several documents were only partially damaged and new records could be made easily. Special teams would be formed to reconstruct the service records that were charred completely. “We are also thinking of scanning all the important documents so as to store them digitally in remote servers,” he said.

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