Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | ePaper

Negligence, ignorance causing fire incidents

Spending 2pc of building's total cost can completely avoid such mishap: Expert

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Gulam Rabbani :
An internationally renowned Bangladeshi fire safety expert has said it is possible to completely avoid any kind of fire-related incidents by spending only 2 per cent of the total cost of a building.
In an exclusive interview with The New Nation, Engineer MA Rashid Tipu, a certified fire expert by the National Fire Protection Association of USA, said, "Due to the negligence of the building owners and the authorities concerned about the fire safety and in some cases ignorance, many big fire incidents are occurring in the country."
He added, "But it is possible to keep both the life and resources safe by allocating a small amount of money from the total building cost to prevent the fire."
"From my experience in Bangladesh as a fire safety expert, I can say that most of the house owners do not take into account the importance of the fire safety during the construction of a building, which causes dire consequences. This is the main reason for the loss of many lives and destruction of properties in the recent fire incidents
of FR Tower, Tazreen Garments and in Old Dhaka," said Tipu.
However, he added, "It is possible to completely avoid any kind of fire incidents by spending only 2 per cent of the total cost of a building installation. You need only Tk two lakh for fire safety in a house of Tk two crore. That is why, fire prevention system should be installed in the building by a skilled fire safety expert before its construction. Then the lives will be saved, wealth will be protected."
The fire safety expert said that electric short circuit is one of the main causes of fire accidents in Bangladesh. The faulty electric wires, loose connection, overloaded electrical plug and outdated electrical equipment are responsible for the fire accidents. Therefore, it is necessary to replace those old electrical equipment in all buildings and install new and standard equipment. It is the responsibility of the owner or the authority concern of each building to keep a fire alarm in the building and an alternative staircase outside of the building."
Tipu, one of the world's leading fire protection specialists, received certificate from the National Fire Protection Association of USA after completing a 'professional development' course on the fire safety from the 'College of Engineering Architecture Technology' of the Oklahoma State University. Because of this, he qualified himself as an internationally certified fire expert to work on fire accidents in any country in the world.
After successfully working for two and a half years as a Fire Safety Engineer and Consultant in a private organization called 'Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh', he now offers various strategies and counsels the people of the country to protect them from dire situation like fire. Tipu, a committed person of Lakshmipur, is trying to raise awareness about how the country could be protected from the loss of wealth and lives.
Tipu said, "Most of the dwellers of the capital city Dhaka are living with the risk of fire. Generally, deaths occur as a result of fire or smoke inhalation. Most city homes do not have the fire extinguisher. Again, most of the homes that have this device are in an expired state. And most people do not know how to use them."
He also said, "Though there are emergency emission staircases in some buildings, those are not wide enough and also not in outside of the building. If there is a fire incidents, these narrow staircases filled with flammable materials will continue to burn and the residents of the houses could not able to go down. Even there is no opportunity to get down from the building through the big staircases, which is normally available in most of the city houses."
"As the big staircases is also covered with black smoke, the toxic carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor always try to find their way upwards through the open staircases as they are lighter than the air. That is why more deaths occur than burns in the fire caused by smoke inhalation. Most people also cannot able to get out, because the porches of the houses are also locked like cages with grill," added the fire safety expert.

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