Vigilance is best approach for fire safety

Deeba Shahnaz Akhter

Majority of fire incidents are occurring due to careless behaviour as evident from the three years data of fire emergencies from Provincial Monitoring Cell (PMC) of Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122. Since 2014 to 2016 the numbers of fire emergencies are significantly increased as 11137 fire incidents were reported in 2014, 11565 fire emergencies in 2015 and 14035 fire emergencies in 2016 in all districts of Punjab. The reported causes of fire emergencies are short circuit, Gas leakage, LPG cylinder, Carelessness, Fire Works, Candle, Kitchen Fire, forest etc
Interesting fact, which motivated me to write this column, is the main cause of occurrence of fire emergency and that is Carelessness. Although this is a crosscutting cause as well with reference to other causes. It is really unfortunate that the most of the numbers of fire emergencies occurred due to carelessness in last three years. This word may not be worth reading for all of you but this carelessness if converted with vigilance, proactive approach towards fire safety then it would definitely contribute towards minimize the routine fire emergencies occurring at home, implementation of building safety codes and promotion of fire safety standard.
It has been further observed from the data that the number of victims is also increased in last three years and we lost our dear ones or precious human lives and properties due to carelessness and lack of vigilance. It is pertinent to mention here that efforts for establishment of Safer Communities under the dynamic leadership of Founder Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer, SI and all District Commanders (District Emergency Officers) have been threefold increased. The Community Safety Wings of the all districts are striving hard to sensitise public on fire safety by conducting fire safety audits, emergency evacuation drills from high rise building and by raising different awareness campaigns and trainings at grass root levels.
Despite of all efforts the major cause of fire emergencies has been found carelessness whereas Rescue 1122 is continuously trying to sensitise community to be vigilant and play their role as responsible citizen. Carelessness approach never promotes safety healthy and safe culture for living. Yes it is an easy approach to say emergencies and disasters are occurring by will of God and it is the responsibility of the government to deal with it. Dear readers according to fire emergency data residential fire incidents were more in number as compare to commercial area fire incidents that means we are not safety conscious even for our kids or family members. The increasing number of incidents, deaths, careless behaviour and absence of vigilance, proactive approach for Safety compels me again and again to share my views for public awareness and promotion of fire safety.
Dear all, all lives are precious. Please do not put yourself in danger just for nothing; do not rush towards at the incident site. Behave like a responsible citizen and promote safety culture in all walks of lives. Also remember. Fire Safety demands to be vigilant, proactive and act as responsible citizen that start from yourself, your home. Be ambassador of safety and never use substandard electrical appliance, never overload the switches, switch off all electrical / gas appliance before go to bed at night, proper ducting for all wires must be used etc. These are small tips but important and it cost nothing. Furthermore, everybody spend huge money on expensive domestic things, dresses etc but how many of you have a small fire extinguisher to control fire at initial stage. ‘ A well kept fire extinguisher is far better than two fire tenders on the way’ You are not late even. Be vigilant and take safety measure for you and your generations. Ensure fire safety in your home or workplace and also contribute towards fire safety so that small emergencies could be saved from turning into a big disaster.
Dear Readers! Punjab emergency Service as Government representative is always a single call away from you all but you all can be responsible citizens and can save many lives by playing your role with vigilance, timely taking preventive measures and act as responsible citizens. Try to promote collective efforts for bringing behavioural change and ensuing fire safety. For this purpose you can also register yourself as Rescue Mohafiz and be part of Community Emergency Response Team (CERTs) and use Emergency Service platform for prevention of emergencies and promotion of safety culture in Pakistan.
—Writer is Head at Community Safety and Information Department, Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 and can be reached at [email protected]

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