ADPC-iPrepare: Preparedness for Fire disaster

Preparedness for Fire disaster

Chittagong, Bangladesh

Post by Tanzeema Aktar   and Fariha Tasnin
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Fire is one of the most destructive manmade disasters of all time. In Bangladesh, fire accidents are occurring frequently and one of the primary reasons of these accidents is unconsciousness of people.

So, from the fire related accidents related to garment factories and people’s personal lives, it is clear that people should be concerned about the causes and damages of fire and be prepared to face this catastrophic disaster.

Looking a few years back can prove the fact that the damages of fire accidents are very high in rate. For example, fire in Tazreen Fashion Garment Factory in Ashulia, on the outskirts of Dhaka is one of the worst industrial tragedies of Bangladesh that illustrates the high quantity of damages.

From a picture from google (The Commons) may prove this to us. According to the New York Times, in Tazreen Fashion’s tragedy, “At least 111 people died and scores of workers were the victim of burns and smoke inhalation.” (Bajaj 2012). Fire caused to destroy the valuable assets of the factory as well. “Since 2006, more than 500 Bangladeshi workers have died in factory fires,” according to Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti sweatshop advocacy group in Amsterdam.

So fire accidents not only take peoples’ valuable lives but also hamper our economy to a great extent.

Fire disasters mainly happen because of unconsciousness of people. For example, the fatal fire disaster in Tazreen factory mainly occurred because of low safety measures and unawareness of factory authorization.

In a telephone interview in that article, Major Mahbub said that the fire could have been caused by an electrical fault or by a spark from a cigarette. Apart from throwing cigarettes here and there, fire incidents may also happen because of leaving the gas stove on, by playing with fire materials, keeping flammable objects close to fire sources, etc.

Experts say many of the fires could have easily been avoided if the factories had taken the right precautions.

“Many factories are in cramped neighborhoods and have too few fire escapes and they widely flout safety measures.”

Like, in that factory, there were not enough exits. “So, the workers could not come out when the fire engulfed the building,” said Major Mahbub, the operations directed for the fire department, according to the associated press. So, having enough exits and making them wide and open are important as prevention.

In addition, raising massive awareness among people is one of the important facts. People should know the use of the fire equipment and also should have the primary skills to provide an initial treatment for the victims who are affected.

According to Nazia who has experienced the destructiveness of fire and shared her story with us, it happened because of the unawareness of the guard of her house. At the time of working for decorating, there were some wood pulp in her house and the guard threw a cigarette in that. It caused around 50000Tk damage in their house.

She also shared the fact with surprise that when the carpenter forbade him not to that, he did not care. Because of throwing cigarette in wood pulp, they had to face a huge fire in their house which made a loss of 50000Tk. Unawareness of the guard was the only reason she said. So she thinks that mass awareness should be grown among people.

When the Health Centre of Asian University for Woman was asked about their preparedness, they informed us that they would strictly follow the instructions given by the security during fire accidents. They would stay calm and alert others foe handling the situation. If the fire alarm rings, they will assure the safety of both patients and themselves. In addition, they immediately put the burnt patients under running water after classifying the intensity of burn.

To grow awareness among community, “more and more workshop should be introduced,” they said. (Indira and Monica 24)

Basically, that Ashulia incident made us realized that fire can paralyze the whole community in a few minutes. So, knowing the causes of fire accidents, taking enough precautions can be the foremost responsibility for people to take. On the other hand, if accident happens, community needs to know the rules and skills to fight against this disaster.

In fact, “Prevention is better than cure” that’s all we need to remember to face this problem.

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