Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Extinguishing our fire problems from the centre

Such drives need to be made mandatory

Update : 05 Feb 2024, 12:58 PM

Bangladesh has had a longstanding unhealthy relationship with fire, that much has been established by now. But it is a truth that gets further solidified with every new incident of a fire breaking out, the most recent being at a Gazipur factory and a warehouse in Narayanganj -- both occurring on the same day and the exact source of both the fires yet to be established as of writing.

Far from ringing alarm bells, as any fire incident should, attitudes towards the core issue of a lack of fire safety measures seems to have become a point of apathy for the administration given the frequency with which new fires get started. Yes, our fire service department has always proven to be capable in handling any given situation, but this is a problem that needs to be extinguished from the centre.

Last year, after a major fire that broke out at a Gulshan high-rise -- where it was found that insufficient fire safety equipment had acted as an impediment to prevention -- the fire service authorities had rightly acknowledged existing discrepancies in terms of fire prevention systems and had announced steps towards resolving them, through a partnership with the capital’s city corporations, by arranging special drives against structures in the capital which are found not in compliance with fire safety laws. 

Such drives need to be made mandatory and must be carried out in a frequent cadence, and when structures are found to be in violation of code the owners need to be given the appropriate punitive measures. To skirt the issue of fire safety is to literally put lives at risk.

The nation has already witnessed several fires this year within the span of a month. We need the government to start treating this problem with the attention it deserves.

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