We are right now going through winter season and fire mishaps become a routine across Kashmir valley during these months. The reason being use of heating gadgets and other means to keep warn which quite often lead to fire mishaps and loss of life and property.
Similarly alongwith the households and other residential and office complexes, public places too are exposed to these mishaps as mishaps can happen owing to various reasons. One such place that is witnessing huge exposure to fire mishaps are the hospitals which have been over the past few years seen very little improvement to prevent such mishaps.
Right now the hospitals are witnessing an increased rush due to increase in ailments among the people due to winter season and the extra pressure on the hospitals to cater to the covid pandemic.
The overload on the hospitals exposed various loopholes and one such was the compromises made over the fire safety in various hospitals.
Thought the issue of ensuring fire safety measures in hospitals was taken up by the Supreme Court last year as it even issued directions to all the states and UT’s to constitute a committee in each district to conduct fire audit of COVID-19 hospitals at least once a month. The committees were tasked to inform the management of medical establishment about any deficiency and report to the government for taking follow up action.
Fire safety in Covid and other hospitals has been ignored over the years. Besides, the fact remains that most of the protocols that have to be followed while ensuring fire safety in hospitals have been ignored and since the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic the authorities were so much overstressed that they had no time to think about improving or cross checking fire safety measures in the hospitals.
The rush and footfall in the hospitals is increasing so tremendously that the administration in many cases did not even get the no objection certificates from the fire departments as well. That being the reason that the apex court also directed the officials to get the pending NOC’s immediately after getting the necessary inspection done by the fire service officials.
Ensuring that all hospitals are made to follow the protocols to ensure fire safety rules are being adhered to, the administration should direct all the officials in the health sector to update their respective local building bye laws/fire services and synchronise all the hospital buildings in line of Model Bill on maintenance of fire and emergency service, 2019′.
While the fire safety norms have been flouted in most of the hospital buildings, the fact remains that ignoring the safety measures can prove to be a costly affair in case of any mishap happens.
This stands true for both Jammu and Kashmir divisions where authorities need to cross check and get all the necessary rules and regulations in place and ensure that all the measures required for ensuring fire safety are not only followed but those violating them be booked for criminal negligence.
This will ensure that officials who are responsible for ensuring these measures do not take their job lightly as their negligence can prove deadly in case of a mishap.