Millennium Post

Residences used as factories a major cause of fire casualties

New Delhi: Inappropriate use of any building can lead to fire, claimed officials of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), adding that improper staircases in factories and residences leads to casualty during a blaze.
According to DFS officials, investigations into several cases of factory fires has often revealed that the buildings where most of these fires broke out were not meant to house factories.
"We have found that in many cases, the place was built for a house. But it was used for industrial purposes. There is a huge difference between the plan of a house and a factory," said a fire officer.
In the Bawana factory fire, 17 people died; whereas, in the last 13 days the Capital witnessed 10 deaths in different fire incidents, where the victims were working in an risky environment.
"If you build a structure for a house and turn it into a factory, where more than 10 workers start living, during an emergency, they will easily fall prey to a fire as all of them will be stuck on the main route, because the structure was not designed for a factory. Sudden increase of electrical machines can heat the wires, which can cause fire," added the officer.
Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer, DFS, stated that apartments should have two staircases. If the building catches fire, chances are that people can use the second staircase to escape.
"During investigation, we have also found that electricity metres are fitted near the staircase, which are very dangerous. If a house has one escape route through the staircase, and the metre catches fire, there are no chances of escape," said Garg.
Preliminary reports by Delhi Police on the Sultanpuri shoe factory fire – which claimed four persons, including two minors – stated that the fire originated from the metre, placed near the escape route.
In the Pitampura building fire, in which four members of a family died, the fire was suspected to have started from the main switch.
Police claimed that the deceased were found in the staircase, as they may have tried to escape from the main door.
In another factory fire, which occurred in Dwarka district's Nawada and claimed two labourers, there was only one escape route, located near the main electricity switchboard.
Akhilesh, one of the employees at the Nawada factory, stated that there was no other route to escape, while an eyewitness said that the door was locked.
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