Bangalore, June 29: Over 4,000 hospitals in Karnataka are not following the standard fire safety rules. This was concluded in the survey conducted by Fire and Safety Association of India (FSAI). Fire authorities have been on a drive to prevent fire accidents in hospitals since laboratory fire accident case in Bangalore last December.
The FSAI Chairman Dominic K P stated that "Hospitals are like a bomb. There are cylinders, chemicals and almost every material is inflammable. What we found is that close to 4,000 hospitals, which has over 25 beds; in the state don't have a single precautionary measure in place. We conducted an awareness programme where we tried to give them insights on alternative methods and how they can do simple things to prevent fire. Some evacuation techniques to have been demonstrated”.
The Chairman further informed, "We have trained around 350 hospitals from the city on safety measures during a fire emergency. When hospitals briefed us about already existing infrastructure and they cannot do anything further, we have given them ideas such as: inter-connect staircases to a neighbouring building. We call this horizontal evacuation. We have also told hospitals to set up effective firefighting systems”.
FSAI also found that some hospitals in the city are not even using extinguishers properly. They noted that some hospitals are hiding the extinguisher. When hospitals were asked for the reason, they got shocked to hear the reason hospitals gave. One of the hospitals gave the reason that since the fire extinguisher is red in colour it did not suit their interior design.
Getting shocking replies the chapter President of FSAI, P Lakshminarayana said, “We really don't understand what is more important Lives or design? Also, the emergency doors are always kept locked or there were hospitals which had kept their old documents and papers at the door making them inaccessible".
NR Markandeya, Deputy Director (fire prevention) of Fire and Emergency Services Directorate detailed "After training all schools, hospitals are the next sector we are focusing on. We have issued notices to all hospitals and given them 90 days to implement all necessary parameters. If they don't comply, we will cut power and water supply to the hospital and seal the hospital. The last resort is, of course, filing a FIR."