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Bulletin of Occupational & Environmental Health

Fire Safety - A Report

Author(s): .

Vol. 1, No. 1 (2004-01 - 2004-06)


Fire is one of the most hazardous things known to man. It is man\'s best friend if used wisely, and his worst enemy, if allowed to spring out of control. Due to lax safety standards in India, these are hundreds of fires every year and the toll, whether human or monetary, is appalling. To analyze the extent of fire and safety problems in India, a study was undertaken by Centre for Occupational & Environmental Health, Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi.


The methodology was based on a routine reading of 10 different newspapers. Both Hindi and English, which are published from a capital city. The newspaper clippings regarding fire cases were collected and analyzed for over a period of 8 months. Maximum efforts has been made to collect as many new as possible, still there might be remote possibility of having missed out a few relevant news.

Results and Discussion:

During June and December 2002, there were 31 major fires in and around the National Capital Region. These resulted in 27 deaths, and lakhs of rupees worth of damage.

The majority of fires occurred in factories where inflammable chemicals and solvents were manufactured, used or stored.

Who for the most part are poorly equipped and lack basic fire safety equipment.

The single worst case was at a cracker factory in New Delhi on October 29 th , which took 10 lives. The data also highlights the disproportionate manner in which the English language and Hindi language highlight such cases. It is seen that the Hindi language dailies come off as more sincere and devote more space to environment case and such topics, whereas the English media are more into sensational staff in a race for more circulation. What is disturbing is that there are at least 3 cases of fires breaking out in CNG buses, which raises serious question about passenger safety. Maximum fires break out due to electric short-circuiting, a clear pointer to faulty wiring.

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