News Today :A fire can happen at any time at any place irrespective of its occupancy status. You can expect a fire at any structure, may be at your home or at your workplace or in a hospital or in public places like theatres, malls, etc… Fire in any occupancy has the potential to cause harm to its occupants and severe damage to property.
On an average, in India, every year, about 25,000 persons die due to fires and related causes. Female accounts for about 66% of those killed in fire accidents. It is estimated that about 42 females and 21 males die every day in India due to fire. According to the statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau, fire accounts for about 5.9% (23,281) of the total deaths reported due to natural and un-natural causes during last year. Probably many of these deaths could have been prevented, had we taken enough fire protection measures.
Industrial fires and explosions cost companies and governments billions of dollars every year, not to mention the loss of life, which can’t be described in monetary terms. According to the most recent fire statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 37,000 fires occur at industrial and manufacturing properties every year
No comprehensive data is available in India on the economic losses suffered on account of fires. However, according to one estimate the major losses reported by the Indian Insurance Companies that about 45% of the claims are due to fire losses. According to another estimate about Rs. 1000 crores are lost every year due to fire. Fire losses are reported both in industrial and non-industrial premises like hospitals, commercial complexes, educational institutions, assembly halls, hotels, residential buildings, etc… According to Fire Risk Survey (FRS), carried out by Pinkerton & Federation of Indian Chambers and Industry, in India, fire accounted for 8.45% of the overall ranking of risks. FRS also revealed that fires has been rated as the 5th highest risk in industry.
The above survey also revealed that in industry wise risk ranking, fire take 2nd place in hospitality, 4th place in IT/ITES, Manufacturing, Security Service Providers and 6th place in infrastructure. As far as the leading cause for the fire is concerned, according to the survey, the electric defaults are regarded as the major cause of fires. In Mumbai about 75% of fire-related incidents occur because of short circuit caused by loose wiring.
An effective fire prevention strategy is an essential feature of fire protection. However, it must be kept in mind that regardless of the efficiency of a fire prevention strategy, some fires inevitably occurs.
In spite of all technical advances, water is the cheapest, most efficient and environmentally friendly fire extinguishing medium. Water, which has high latent heat of vaporization, is the most effective coolant and protection agent. No amount of appliances or equipment would be of much use, if sufficient quantities of water under required pressure were not available for firefighting. To be effective, it must be applied in sufficient quantity and at such a rate that it well prevent the accelerating growth of the fire. It must be remembered that if remedial measures are not taken in the very early stages of following the outbreak of a fire, the amount of water required increases exponentially as the increase in the time taken for the fire fighting forces to reach the scene of the fire and start effective firefighting operations.