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Increasing the Fire Safety Quotient of Indian Schools

Fire can strike anytime, anywhere even in schools. Long time back, schools were not considered as a fire prone premise because they had very low potential fire initiators. However, with the advent of new teaching methodologies and advancement in technology; the school buildings are increasingly being equipped with high tech devices like smart boards, video screens & projectors in each class room. Such equipment have higher power consumption rates, making each class room more susceptible to fire incidents. The increased power consumption is backed with higher wattage electric panels which in turn are a potential fire hazard.

The centralized and room air conditioning in schools and power backup generators elevates the fire potential of schools. Fully equipped computer labs and chemistry labs are also potential fire threats if not maintained properly. The chaotic kitchen environment takes the fire hazard level to an all-time high level. Inhabitants of school premise are children who unlike adults are inept in responding to panic situations like fire incident. This fact makes fire safety precautions extremely important in schools to avoid any untoward incident.

Prime Minster Modi in his recent episode of ‘Mann ki Baat’ also laid stress on the fire safety measures in school and rightly so, as schools are increasingly becoming more fire prone  zones.  He urged the fire department under corporations and municipalities who possess the fire brigades to visit different schools once a week or a month and conduct mock drills. Such safety precautions are a must for schools, as school is the playground of blooming kids and should be safe as can be.

In order to curtail any loss from fire incidence a school authority must work on a holistic fire safety plan. The plan must be an all-encompassing 360 degree plan starting from fire precautions to fire detection graduating to firefighting and evacuation plans and last but not the least post fire damage control. Such a crucial aspect of children safety should not be neglected. Authorities must take guidance from trained and adept professional in fire security and evacuation process so that the schools become a safe haven for our kids.

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