Singed by the Girgaum Chowpatty fire, fire safety has been increased at BKC, but several extinguishers do not mention expiry dates, important to ascertain their utility
The authorities seem to have fallen short of learning their lesson from the massive fire, which broke out at Make in India week’s Maharashtra Night on Girgaum Chowpatty earlier this week. While the fire safety arrangements at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) have been increased, some of the fire extinguishers kept outside the exhibition halls do not mention manufacturing, refilling or expiry dates, important for determining their utility.
While this cylinder mentions the manufacturing and refilling date, mid-day observed that the same was not mentioned on more than 15 cylinders. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Yesterday, when mid-day visited the event, we also checked the manufacturing, refilling and expiry dates on fire extinguisher cylinders and found that many of them were new. But, on more than 15 cylinders, no date was mentioned and on some of them, it was not visible. One of the extinguishers outside Hall 11 did not mention any dates and the same was with the ones outside Hall 6.
“The new fire extinguisher cylinders have a life span of five years, but after that they have to be refilled every year and the date of refilling as well as its expiry needs to be mentioned on it, because after expiry date the cylinders might not work in case of an emergency,” said former Chief Fire Officer Pratap Damodar Kargupikar.
More than 50 fire extinguishers were seen outside the 27 halls of the Make in India event at BKC, which were kept near the entrance of each hall. “We have a proper system in place to tackle a fire incident. At all necessary locations, fire extinguishers have been placed which can be used to douse the fire. We have also installed emergency evacuation maps on the walls outside the halls so that people get to know what they can do in case of a fire,” said an official. The number of fire extinguishers and sand buckets outside halls has been increased.
When mid-day asked who was behind stationing the fire extinguishers, a member from the organising team said, “We have not kept it and a special team of fire marshals of a private agency, who know how to operate them, have placed the extinguishers.” The open area for performances also had fire extinguishers and more than 70 marshals were deployed at various locations to monitor the situation.
The organisers have also increased the number of security checks for visitors. At the entry point itself, a thorough search was done to check whether visitors are carrying any inflammable materials. This procedure has been constant since day one, but after the Girgaum fire, the checks have become thorough.
The organisers had also installed the banners with tips on fire safety. The numbers of the quick response team (QRT) were also mentioned. The banners stated that visitors must raise an alarm in case of a fire and inform the QRT based at the venue. They can also contact the fire brigade by calling 101.
Types of extinguishers
>> Three types of fire extinguishers have been kept at the event, namely, Water and Foam, Carbon Dioxide and Dry Chemical.
>> The Water and Foam extinguisher can be used for dousing fire occuring because of wood, paper, cloth, thrash and plastic.
>> The carbon dioxide extinguishers are used to douse fire that takes place because of cooking oil and greases.
>> The dry chemical fire extinguishers can be used for all kinds of fire.
2 lakh sq meters
The area of MMRDA grounds in BKC where the Make in India event has been organised
The number of exhibition halls
Number of fire marshals
Number of fire extinguishers that have been kept outside halls and around the event premises
Number of emergency evacuation maps pasted on the walls of the hall
Number of information banners giving tips and mentioning numbers of the Quick Response Team have been put up at important locations