Sunday, April 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Burning down the house

Update : 22 Apr 2013, 05:01 AM
How many more buildings and homes will we see being razed before the Fire Service and Civil Defence sits up and takes notice of the deplorable situation of fire fighting in this country? Recent months have seen an outbreak of various structures going up in flames, with firefighters trying desperately to put them out. The latest broke out Saturday morning in Dhaka, at the Multiplan Centre computer market on Elephant Road, causing damage to electrical and computer equipment that was estimated in the millions. The reason behind this extensive loss? Lack of firefighting equipment. Indeed, our fire service stations are in horrendous shape. There aren’t even enough stations or trained personnel around to handle every emergency. And those stations that do exist are in desperate need of equipment, especially in the rural areas.   Few of our existing structures were built to fire safety codes, though progress is slowly being made in that area. Only a few structures have fire escapes.   Emergency evacuation plans are essentially non-existent. As for fire extinguishers, there’s only one in some structures, but if very few people, if any, know how to use one, these extinguishers essentially become useless. Not a single week has passed this year without a structure somewhere in the nation having caught fire. It is as if our nation is burning down, literally, and no one seems to care. The time is past for merely sitting up and taking notice. Concerted action needs to be taken to bring our fire service stations and personnel up to scratch. If we are to ensure our safety against fires, immediate action is needed, and that means investing seriously in our fire service stations and in fire protection programmes.
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