Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 15: Every year Indian fire brigades, fire departments, Municipal Corporations, Industries, Government offices, and others commemorate the 71 Firemen who died in the Bombay Port fire on April 14, 1944, on National Fire Service Day. It’s called Martyr’s Day because everyone honors the courageous firefighters who sacrificed their lives to save lives and assets. The main aim of the week is to increase awareness among civilians to ascertain their preparedness to fight fire emergencies.

In 2022, Mumbai reported a total of 1996 fire calls, of which one was a level 4 call (major fire), one a level 3 call (medium fire), 12 level 2 calls (also medium fire), and 26 level 1 call (small fires). Remembering the tragic fire incident in Mumbai and other developing cities of Maharashtra, the government pays attention to fire safety and evacuation measures to prevent the loss of human lives. The Maharashtra Energy Department has made the advisory in July 2022 to install the Fire Evacuation Lift in New Buildings of having heights 70 meters or above for faster and safer evacuation during fire accidents.

This year Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde gave a message to the state on the occasion of Fire Service Week. He said, “In the event of Fire Service Week, I would like to congratulate all the firefighters for their heroic role in saving lives and assets. The commitment and sacrifice of firefighters are remarkable. With the infrastructure development, the risk of fire safety and evacuation has increased over the years, but the fire brigade department has never failed to save the lives and property of civilians. The Maharashtra Energy Department’s new circular on installing Fire Evacuation Lifts in high-rise buildings is a visionary step. It will make the evacuation process easy and faster for firefighters. Now, we must follow all rules and regulations made by the Maharashtra Energy Department to ascertain the preparedness to fight fire emergencies. Little consciousness by the civilians and infra developers can make Maharashtra a fire-free state.”

Speaking about the Fire Brigade department, Mr. Sanjay Manjrekar, Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai said, “The joint efforts of the citizens and the fire department can only make the city fire free. Throughout the year we are continuously trying to sensitize the citizens regarding Fire safety through Mock drills, awareness programs, lectures, training, Demonstrations, etc.  Every year we do awareness and fire safety camps during fire service week so that the civilians can be educated and trained about the safety protocols. Looking at the fires in recent months in the city specifically in the high rises need to have evacuation solutions in place. Accordingly, the concept of the “Fire evacuation lift” was already implemented in 2018 after the approval of Honorable M.C. sir. This will help the self-evacuation of occupants as well as Firefighters in case of fire emergencies. An adequate evacuation solution and proper training can save millions of lives during fire accidents. Help us to help you!”

The industry expert Dr. Vikram Mehta, MD of SPARTAN Fire Evacuation Lift said, “It’s not possible to imagine the hardship of Firefighters. They are real superheroes who fought for the life of others. In recent years the rising numbers of high-rise constructions have made the job of firefighters riskier. As they have to walk through stairs on higher floors with 25 to 30kg weight to douse the fire and evacuate people during fire emergencies. The fire evacuation lift is an effective solution for firefighters to reach high floors faster and for people to have a safer living in high-rise buildings. It’s time to save our saviors (Firemen).”

This year’s theme is “Awareness in Fire Safety for Growth of National Infrastructure (AGNI)”. All the fire brigade departments of Maharashtra are ready to conduct awareness programs and training programs for civilians to make them self-sufficient to fight fire.

Devendra Potphode, Chief Fire Officer of Pune, said, “Adhering to fire safety regulations and norms is not just a legal obligation, but a moral responsibility for all citizens, builders, and developers. Let us come together and prioritize the safety of ourselves and our community to make Pune a fire-free city.”

Vijay Rane, Chief Fire Officer CIDCO, said, “It is essential to educate the society about regular fire safety rather than limiting the fire week only to the week itself. Fire safety is a joint responsibility of the citizens and the fire department. Similar to the “Clean India” campaign, the “Fire Safe India” campaign should be considered.”

Samadhan Devare, Divisional Fire Officer Thane, said, “Every year we do training and awareness programs to educate people on the subject of fire safety and evacuation. Our efforts are to make sure every high-rise building in Thane is safe. The Fire Evacuation Lift for the high-rise buildings is a relief for the firefighters as it helps them in faster and safer evacuation. Firemen can reach higher floors faster and douse the fire on time before it turns into a blaze. The support of societies, builders, developers, and civilians will make the city safer.”

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