Fire prevention drive stepped up

COIMBATORE, AUG. 1. The Fire Prevention Wing of the Fire and Rescue Services Department has stepped up its fire prevention drive following the Kumbakonam fire accident that claimed the lives of 94 school children recently.

Under the directions of the Deputy Director of Fire Services, Western Region, V. Madurapandian, the wing had been organising drills to educate people and has taken steps to inspect structures and premises that are vulnerable to fire accidents.

Educating staff

A team led by the Divisional Fire Officer, N. Priya, and the Additional-Divisional Fire Officer, Subramanian, conducted mock fire drills in a number of establishments educating the staff on fire fighting and the steps that need to be taken to protect the lives.

The exercise of conducting drills would be sustained over a period of time with a view to cover more premises and offices, Ms. Priya said.

On Friday, a drill was held at the Police Recruit School on Avanashi Road aimed at educating the police recruit. It also focussed on training the police personnel on the supplementary role and back-up assistance that was required from them in handling an emergency.

The constables were briefed on the precautions that need to be taken up in permitting parking of vehicles since fuel in a number of parked vehicles was likely aggravate a fire.

Thatched roofs

The conditions under which thatched roofs could be allowed were also explained to the policemen. They were also trained on the need for keeping the entry points and approach roads free from on-lookers and traffic to enable the fire tenders and water tankers to reach the spot without any loss of time.

Role of police

The crucial role to be played by the police in handling agitated victims and in keeping the curious onlookers at bay for enabling the fire-fighting work to progress without any hitch was also stressed.

The library staff from all the branch libraries who had assembled at the District Library building on Friday for disbursement of salaries was also educated on the fire-fighting skills.

Various types of fire, the suitable fire-fighting materials and the methods to be adopted while using foam, chemical and water fire extinguishers was also explained to the target audience group.

The staff were also educated on how the safe methods to be adopted while escaping from the seat of fire.

Sunday market

Besides the drive for educating people on fire prevention and fighting, the department has also started taking up the inspection of structures and premises that are vulnerable to fire.

The Divisional Fire Officer inspected the weekend shandy known as "Sunday Market" on Dr. Nanjappa Road on Friday.

The market having nearly 50 shops was found to be having just one narrow entrance to be used for entry and exit.

The shandy was attracting a minimum 300 to 400 people at a time.

Above all, the stall in the market was just having collapsible and combustible materials made of wood, tarpaulin and plastic sheets, which are vulnerable to fire.

Electrical installations

The electrical installations and wirings on the premises were also done in a crude manner without adhering to safety precautions.

A short circuit, power leakage or a spark was enough to cause a fire,the report pointed out.

All these deficiencies were being pointed out in the report being submitted to the Deputy Director of Fire Services, Collector and Commissioner for initiating appropriate action and remedial measures, the sources added.

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