NEW DELHI: Four major fires in as many days have again put a question mark on safety standards in the capital’s major manufacturing hubs. Firefighters say a majority of the workforce in industrial units doesn’t have even the basic training to respond to emergency situations.
Another reason for the heavy loss of life and property due to fires in Delhi, according to officials, is that firefighting equipment isn’t easily accessible to workers. As a result, crucial time is lost by the time help arrives. “There aren’t adequate exits at most units. During night, factory gates are often locked from outside as these function illegally. In the Bawana factory blaze, which claimed 17 lives, the damage could have been far lower had the main gate not been locked. The only person to survive the incident did so by jumping off the first floor,” a firefighter said, adding that small entrances made it tough for rescuers to take quick action. Poor wiring and inferior building material often resulted in short circuits, the primary cause of fires, he said.