Spurred into action by the massive fire that gutted the server room in the Commisionerate on Saturday, the Pune police have now decided to prepare a contingency plan for possible fires in the future. According to the plan, fire drills will be conducted, in which all police personnel will be given specific training to handle similar situations. The administration has also decided to change the electrical wiring system in the Commissionerate.
Elaborating on the preventive measures, Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar said, “We have two types of audits — power and fire audit — that are to be carried out regularly. Power audit takes care of all the electrical fittings. We have recommended that the entire electrical wiring system be replaced. The present wiring system was designed a decade ago, and we don’t know if it can handle the increased load.”
“As far as the fire audit is concerned, we are now preparing a contingency plan. This plan will include training on how to evacuate the premises, right down to the different directions in which different officials are to move, in case a fire breaks out. Just like in schools, regular fire drills will be conducted, once the plan is ready. All the police personnel will have to undergo this training and adhere to the standard operating procedure. We will soon hold a meeting with the fire inspector from the PMC in this regard,” he added.
After a devastating fire broke out in Mantrayala in Mumbai in June 2012, the District Collector had ordered a fire safety audit of all government offices, including that of the Pune Police Commissionerate. Accordingly, the fire brigade officials had carried out a fire safety audit of all police stations and the police commissioner’s office in the city in June 2012.
PMC’s Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise, however, was not happy with the way in which officials in charge at police stations responded to the instructions they were given about fire safety. Today, more than half of the police stations, zonal and regional offices are ill-equipped for fire fighting in emergency situations.
A server, eight personal computers, four wireless sets, printers and other paraphernalia were destroyed in a massive fire that broke out in the wireless server room and electronic telephone exchange room located in front of the Foreigners Regional Registration Office on the ground floor of the main building of the Pune Police Commissionerate on Saturday morning around 9 am.
Fire brigade officials suspected that the reason behind the fire was a short circuit. Since the room had electronic systems installed, the fire brigade officials resorted to the use of sprinklers to douse the fire, instead of regular water jets. Refuting the allegation that the on-duty police personnel were not equipped to handle the emergency situation, Joint CP Sanjay Kumar said, “The server room is not visited regularly.
Our personnel had seen smoke coming out, but the source of the fire could not be located in the initial stages. Even then, the fire was controlled and doused in a few minutes by the fire brigade officials and jawans. The fire did not spread to the wooden articles and documents and files kept just next to the server room; otherwise, the damage would have been greater.”