Schools must be responsible towards fire safety

Updated: Jul 23, 2019, 12:56 IST | A correspondent

It is imperative that schools have installed equipment which is in working condition. Failing this they should be penalised heavily, and we can only hope that the students do not suffer

Schools must be responsible towards fire safety

The BMC has cut water and electricity supply to an Andheri school after taking notice that it did not have fire safety equipment. The school has been shut for two weeks due to non-compliance of fire rules, and is expected to be open for classes this week, a report in this paper said.

The Mumbai fire department conducted checks at city schools with reference to fire compliance. This is absolutely necessary. There have been a spate of fires in buildings in the city and many of these structures have had no firefighting equipment installed within. It is imperative that schools have installed equipment which is in working condition. Failing this they should be penalised heavily, and we can only hope that the students do not suffer.

It is also important that schools hold fire drills and what to do in case of a fire instructions are pasted across the school, so that students glance at these every day. While cynics may scoff that these are soft measures and will not come in use during an emergency, fighting fires has to be done on multiple fronts. Fire compliance is of course, one of the most important, but awareness and education about what to do in case of fire is also necessary and can be the difference between life and death in emergency situations.

Students must be taught how important it is to know the basics when it comes to fire. Something like not using the lift, how to exit without pushing and pulling, leaving behind your bags and books instead of trying to pick them up and how to put a wet cloth on your mouth and nose in case of smoke are just some of the points that are fundamental but need great presence of mind. Schools must be fire compliant. First time checks, penalties and surprise visits by fire department officials but most of all a sense of responsibility by the institutions, must ensure that.

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