The regularity is alarming
Again and again, we see incidents of fires breaking out, with enormous death and destruction in their wake. Whether accident or arson, the fact remains, not enough is being done to stop these incidents from taking place.
The two phenomena are also interrelated: Laxness in terms of basic fire safety and building regulations allows for arsonists to take cover under the pretext of accidents. After all, accidents do happen all the time, and this provides an impetus to deliberately cause accidents to those who seek to do harm.
The latest tragedy is that four people have died, and 20 people have been injured, in a fire in Gazipur, after a cooking gas cylinder exploded at a colony of apparel workers in Kaliakair upazila. As many as 50 households were affected in the fire.
Shockingly, we have grown all too used to chalking these fire incidents off as mere statistics. The regularity is alarming, but instead of serving as a wake-up call, many have become desensitized, accepting a certain number of fire incidents as a part of normality.
This frequency, however, is not normal, but the result of negligence, and a failure to enforce basic safety standards. In no way is it normal for gas cylinders to blow up for no reason, something must have been wrong in the first place. Hapless people have no choice but to put up with these dangerous arrangements.
We need to do better. If we wish to call ourselves a developed nation, human life -- and fire safety, as an extension – must be considered a priority, not an afterthought.