The International Copper Association, India (ICA, India), together with Power Cable Alliance (PCA) and Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI), recently organised an event — attended by 100 delegates from across buildings and the infrastructure eco-system — to focus attention on the need for electrical fire safety in public buildings.
The inaugural session of the event included Sanjeev Ranjan, MD, ICAI, and guests of honour Debasish Banerjee, MD, CESC, and Jag Mohan, DG, Fire Services. The agenda was to put forth best practices in electrical safety, selection of fire survival cables in key public buildings, such as hospitals, airports and metro stations. Discussions on standards and practices in electrical fire safety and fire safety installations were also held.
Recently, several fires were reported from such public places as malls, restaurants, wedding halls, exhibitions and shopping complexes, among others. Fire safety in public places is the last thing we would have in mind while visiting them for entertainment. According to a report by the Central Electricity Authority of India, defective electrical systems are a major cause for the increasing number of fire accidents.
With the increasing demand for power across the country, the need to improve the quality, reliability and efficiency of the electrical infrastructure is important. In our efforts to realize the collective vision of an ‘Electrical Fire-Safe India’, ICA India, PCA and FSAI have joined hands and come together to discuss the reliability and efficiency of electrical infrastructure in India. This seminar is the third in a series; the two earlier ones were organized in Delhi and Chennai.
Experts from the regulatory bodies pointed out how, despite having sufficient regulations and standards in place, we are still struggling with better electrical safety applications because of a lack of awareness among the masses.
Proper cables can prevent fires, save lives
‘In India, on an average, 13 fatal accidents occur in a day because of electrical reasons. This isn’t only a loss to the economy, where crores of rupees are spent on compensation and maintenance, but it also endangers life. We, at ICA India, strive to empower people with knowledge to overcome electrical hazards through our campaigns and initiatives. The old adage, ‘Prevention is better than cure’, applies aptly to electrical hazards and fire accidents. Using the right circuit integrity cables, or fire survivable cables for public buildings can prevent loss of life and property. We hope that, by sharing knowledge and driving these facts home, we’ll be able to prevent these unfortunate incidents from occurring’.
- Sanjeev Ranjan (speaking at the event)
‘Awareness important for the coming Pujas’
‘There’ve been several fire accidents over the past six months caused by improper wiring standards. Awareness of electrical fire safety is essential and such events help focus on that aim.
Kolkata, a City of Festivals, is prone to electrical hazards, too, and it’s important that more people are aware of the precautions and measures to be implemented for better safety in public buildings. When proper measures towards electrical safety aren’t taken, several public buildings become susceptible to fires. We’re confident that, with greater awareness among key stakeholders, we’ll be able to stop electrical fire accidents’
— Debashish Banerjee, Managing Director, CESC
Importance of fire safety rules
All the speakers shared their expertise in electrical fire safety in public buildings regarding standards, policies, laws and the ways these issues can be addressed. The discussions were focused on the importance of the right quality of jointing and termination, rules, regulations and standards of electrical fire safety in public buildings and best practices in selection of fire survival cables for public buildings, followed by a panel discussion on the way forward in ensuring electrical safety.
The most-awaited festival of Kolkata, Durga Puja, is round the corner and preparations are on in full swing. This calls for electrical fire safety to avoid hazardous outcomes and accidents. With increased use of electrical connections around pandals — which, in most cases, are makeshift structures and, in some cases, illegal — the risk of an electrical short-circuit resulting in loss of life and damage to property is heightened. Also, following the recent fire accidents across India and in Kolkata, it is imperative to follow basic electrical fire safety requirements.