mid-day editorial: Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve

Dec 30, 2017, 06:06 IST | mid-day correspondent

As Mumbai ushers in another year, the party weekend has well and truly begun. Celebrations, though, are muted and there is a huge shadow over the city, which is reeling in shock because of the Kamala Mills fire

As Mumbai ushers in another year, the party weekend has well and truly begun. Celebrations, though, are muted and there is a huge shadow over the city, which is reeling in shock because of the Kamala Mills fire.

Having said that, revellers are going to fan across streets, gather in hotels, bars, pubs, homes and, of course, in public spaces too. However you choose to bring in 2018, remember that safety - your own and that of others - never goes out of style.

Pubs and clubs, hotels and bars first need an evacuation plan in place for any emergency. New Year's Eve is just a day away, but we need to implement some lessons learnt from this fire. Be vigilant to any inflammable material on the premises. Be calm in case of any eventuality. A well-disciplined queue will move smoothly and faster than crowds trying to cram into exits.

All bars, restaurants and pubs need to be fitted with fire extinguishers at once. At least two persons from the staff should know how to use them. This is a short-term measure but it's the best that can be done in the one day available before partygoers troop into these places. Keep exits clear of material and stuff that can block the escape route.

While the Kamala Mills fire overshadows everything, remember to respect women's access to public spaces. Women can get trapped in a crowd and, then, become targets of lewd remarks or groping. CCTV cameras should all be checked and kept in top order to ensure better security. Mumbaikars need to show maturity, restraint, and hire drivers if they have had one drink too many. Make a difference between having fun and behaving boorishly. If this fire has taught us something, it is to put human life above all. Let this spirit shine through as we bring in 2018.

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