The class was conducted by Rajesh G Shirke, a certified health and safety auditor from the National Safety Council of India, specialising in damage control and advanced fire fighting.
In three hours, he covered topics like causes, prevention and control of fire. He also threw light on handling kitchen fires, LPG and pipe-gas leakages. He taught various survival and rescue techniques in case of fires and floods, first-aid for burn injuries, heart attacks, bleeding and CPR procedures. In the end, there were practical sessions conducted on how to operate fire extinguishers and douse live fires.
With the arrival of the monsoons, the probability of disaster striking has only increased. Shirke advises Mumbaikars to get their houses surveyed for leakages. “Once leakages are identified and dealt with, electrical fires can be averted,” he said.
Stressing on the philosophy that prevention is better than cure, he added, “Instead of fretting over the price of fire-alarm devices, people should install them. If you wouldn’t have a family to protect in the first place, whom are you saving up for?”
Dhanalakshmi Rao, a resident of Marol who attended the session said, “Despite owning a fire extinguisher, I never knew how to use it. Not only did I learn how to operate one here, I also doused a fire.”
Another attendee, Veronica Miranda, a resident of Dadar, found the class highly informative. “Such sessions should be conducted often. The public should be aware of fire-fighting and damage control techniques, especially during the rainy season when such cases occur frequently,” she said.