Yet another fire accident, still a lot left to chance rather than appropriate safety measures. The fire that broke out on Tuesday morning in the cafeteria of the Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) office at Kolkata once again drove home this point. An apparent gas leak is said to have started the fire, injuring two cooks and causing considerable damage to assets.
Police said gas that leaked from a cylinder caused the fire at around 9.40 am when one of the cooks, Chandrasekhar, was apparently pushing the cylinder below the kitchen table. Both burners of the oven had already been lit. With the regulator removed and gas leaking freely, the flames spread from the burners in a flash, injuring Chandrasekhar.
The obvious learning is that gas cylinders must never be handled carelessly. A suspended regulator is a recipe for disaster. Apart from this, measures to control and restrict fire in case it breaks out must also be taken.
Extinguishing is usually the reactive action that is deployed in case of a fire accident. But insulation could be the smarter thing to do. Different kinds of fire-resistant substances are abundantly available, but if aesthetics, visibility as well as fire security are to be taken care of, then fire-proof glass would be the ideal solution. With functionalities such as cutting out the fire itself, smoke, gases and even radiant heat, fire resistant glass has almost no equivalent substitute.
The usage of the right type of glass could be a life-saver too. For instance, fortunately wired glass (glass laced with very sharp and fine strands of steel) had not been used to glaze the kitchen exteriors. Had that been the case, rescue teams would have found it extremely difficult to enter the premises.
Be it the use of a fire-resistant glass or some other fire-retardation substance, the point is that fire safety is not an option and that we need to wake up to it, and soon.