Accidents are unavoidable. Accidents occur when we are careless or do not pay much attention to our work. Accidents are something about which one is not prepared or doesn’t know about it from before.
Even the simplest of things can give rise to fatal accidents. Fire accidents are something very common these days. They occur due to various factors- mishandling, faulty connections, overheating, short circuiting leakage etc.
Below are some of famous fire accident tragedies that occurred in India.
These examples from the past and present can set a clear picture of how fire accidents have devastated lives:-
- February 2013 -Kolkata
A major fire broke out at a multi-storey market complex in Kolkata in which at least 19 people were killed and over a dozen critically injured.
- Uphaar Cinema Fire 1997 -Delhi
The Uphaar Cinema fire, occurred on June 13, 1997 at at Uphaar Cinema near Green Park in Delhi. It was the one of the worst fire tragedies in recent Indian history, killing 59 people and 103 were seriously injured.
- December 2011 -Kolkata
In the AMRI hospital of Kolkata 89 people were killed by a hazardous fire and due to suffocation caused by carbon monoxide spread across the hospital premises.
- September 2005 -Bihar
Three illegal firecracker factories in the Khusropur village of Bihar caught fire leading to deaths of 35 people and left 50 injured in September, 2005.
- June 2002 -Agra
In the Shree Lee International footwear factory of Agra, Uttar Pradesh fire broke out and 42 people were killed on June 26.
- February 1997 –Odisha
In a religious congregation at Baripada Odisha, A calamitous fire broke out in which 206 people were dead and 148 were injured.
- December 1995 -Haryana
The worst of fire incident in the county, Dabwali fire accident occurred on 23 December 1995 at Mandi Dabwali in Haryana. 540 people were killed due to fire caused by an electric generator short-circuited and the stampede.
There have been many cases of fire accidents in the past and in the present days. Even the smallest items of carelessness can give rise to major fire accidents. Fire accidents mainly occur due to the following reasons-
- Cheap electrical wiring or electrical outlets- sometimes to cut on budget builders and electricians provide low quality electrical appliances which get faulty with time and there may be short circuit or current leakage
- Faulty wiring- faulty wiring connections may mix up the wiring structure and fires may occur due to this
- Excessive load on a power output- in certain places where the power consumption is high due to heavy appliances load can be distributed in various distribution boards rather than concentration on one power supply output. This increases the load on one terminal giving rise to short circuits and fire
- Appliances- old appliances with old power cords can be a danger. Even new appliances can have this problem. Once an appliance’s use is over it should be plugged off or switched off otherwise it might catch fire due to overheating
- Unattended stoves- gas leakage fire are quite a common accident in recent years. Even unattended stoves. Something kept on the stove burns and catches fire. Gas forgotten to be switched off can also lead to major fire accidents
- Children playing with matches- children don’t understand what is hazardous and what is not. Gas lighters and matches in the hands of children are a major cause of fire accidents these days. According to the Burn Awareness Coalition, burns are the number one cause of accidental deaths in children 1-4 and the third leading cause of injury and death ages 1-18.
- Water near power sources- touching electrical appliances and switches with wet hands can lead to short circuiting and fire. This is a very common reason for residential fire accidents.
How to prevent fire accidents?
Fire accidents can be prevented very easily only if we want to. Only a bit of carefulness can save tons of life. A few steps are enumerated below:-
- Keep all fires and heaters well guarded, especially open fires. For fitted or portable heaters with a built in guard, give extra protection by adding a surrounding guard particularly if you have young children or older people in the home.
- Keep portable heaters and candles away from wooden or plastic furniture and curtains. Position safely and firmly where they cannot be knocked over
- Don’t dry or air clothes over or near the fire, or the cooker. They might catch fire instantly.
- Many fires start in the kitchen. Never leave a pan unattended and watch for overheating.
- Always turn off the gas from the gas cylinder and not just from the oven. This nullifies the chances of gas leakage.
- If there are children around, keep matches and lighters well out of reach
How to save oneself when there is fire already?
There are times when accidents cannot be avoided. But we also have to know how to save ourselves and reach to safety in case we are confronted with a fire accident. Here are some tips that one can follow-
- Aim for the nearest exist route.
- Always have fire exist provisions made in building during its construction
- Never use a lift during a fire.
- All electrical connections should be immediately switched off from the mains
- In case you are unable to escape do not panic. Panicking will cut off your oxygen supply
- Wrap yourself in a thick blanket and keep near a window from where the fire rescue team can get to rescue you
- If your clothes catch fire then roll on ground and try to put out the fire.
- If skin gets burnt, put Burnol or any other ointment as soon as possible
- Do not burst the blisters, remove all clothing from the surface of the burn]
- Try to grab a fire extinguisher in case you are trapped in a fire lock. Spray it when the fire gets near you
- Try to keep your face and mouth facing the window so that the supply of oxygen is not cut off
- Use stairs in place of lift always
‘Prevention is better than cure‘
The best way to stay safe is to prevent fire. Regular checks and adequate measures have to be taken to avoid such a disaster. A fire accident is always a loss. We should avoid it as far as possible.