Date for refilling fire extinguishers lapsed three months back

It would appear Madurai Corporation has not learnt any lesson from the recent fire at the Madurai Collectorate that reduced several important records to ashes.

Fire extinguishers – the only fire-fighting measure available at the building – have been kept at several vantage points on each floor but have not been refilled three months after the lapse of the due date. Anna Maaligai houses the offices of the Mayor, Corporation Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner and heads of all departments. The office of Zone two is also located in this building. Important files and revenue records are stocked here.

The ground floor houses a post office, bank and a treasury office.

Over 50 fire extinguishers have been wall- mounted in the corridors leading to the council and other halls. The label pasted on the cylinders by the fire equipment agency reads that the due date for refilling the cylinders fell on September 7, 2012. Though full three months have passed, the cylinders have not been refilled.

The usual procedure adopted by the agencies supplying fire extinguishers is to send reminders to the customers of the date of refilling.

The manufacturer has left a word of caution on the cylinder that its weight should be taken every three months. It should be replaced immediately if the cylinder was found to weigh 10 per cent less than the stamped weight, the caution on the label reads.

Informed sources said the reduced weight of the cartridge meant that the pressure of delivery of fire-fighting liquid during emergencies would have been reduced. “It will lose its effectiveness in fire fighting,” a supplier of fire equipment said. When contacted, City Engineer (in-charge), A. Madhuram, said that the cartridges would be replaced immediately.

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