I am a professional rescuer and am performing my duty in Punjab Emergency Service, Rescue 1122 Faisalabad for the last six years. I want to point out some major issues regarding fire hazards in Pakistan. During my service, wherever I participated in fire fighting I had to suffer a horror situation. The, non availability of fire hydrants in our industrial units is a great hurdle to firefighting. As the fire vehicle has a limited capacity of water that they can carry, therefore, to refill the tanks with water or extinguisher, we have to go far to search for water making our work very difficult. All over the world there are fire hydrants placed after every fifteen feet, but Pakistan government has given no thought to the safety of its people. Rescue work can only be carried out properly when the rescue workers have all the proper equipment.

During inspection and training at industrial units, it is also noticed that at a few places, where the fire hydrants are installed, they are non-functional or for audit purpose only. The firefighting teams in many units are only on paper but not physically present. Many of the so-called industrial firefighters do not know how to use a common fire extinguisher. It is also a matter of extreme concern that except some multi-national units, emergency exit routes are not available, and where available, they are blocked by extra things making them non-accessible during an emergency. In case of fire erupting in a building all these hurdles not only prove to be deadly but also decrease the efficiency of the firefighting teams. I request everyone who has an industry or a large corporate office to keep in mind all these fire safety standards; all workers must get fire emergency training as well as all fire exit plan should be available for everyone to see. A few extra thousands can save many lives.

M. KHURRAM YASIN,

Faisalabad, November 30.