The recent tragic events in a factory in Pakistan reinforce the absolute and cardinal importance of fire safety in any workplace. Thankfully in the UK fire safety regulations are much stricter than in Pakistan, but dangers will always remain so it is essential to be aware of them and to be prepared, both for the safety of colleagues and employees, and to adhere to legislation on health and safety at work.
Over 300 people died last week in terrible fires in a Karachi underwear factory and an illegal shoemaking operation in Lahore. Building standards and a lack of fire safety measures have been blamed for the huge and tragic loss of life in these workplaces. At least 25 people died in the fire in Lahore, but at least 289 died in the blaze in Karachi, in a factory which had barred windows and no fire escapes.
More people were injured in their attempts to escape the roaring flames, when they jumped from high windows. The factory has been called a death trap by rescue workers and it seems obvious that this horrific event could have been avoided if basic fire safety precautions were in place.
Workers were trapped in the building when it erupted because windows on lower floors were covered with metal bars, meaning they could not escape through these windows. Furthermore there were no fire exits that could be used so people were stuck and forced to flee upwards to try and find another way out of the inferno.
This shows the vital importance of having fire safety precautions in place. Anyone who manages a building or a business should make absolutely sure that a workplace adheres the fire safety legislation, that is has an adequate number of fire escapes, that fittings are made of suitable materials that could not fuel a fire and that potential causes of fires are managed.
You can read more about fire safety in the workplace online on government websites or from companies that ensure that workplaces are safe. Black & White Fire Safety Ltd is one such firm and if you want to make sure that your office, factory or other premises is fire safe, they can help.
Recent events in Pakistan are terrible and shocking and they should be used as a warning to take health and safety seriously, wherever in the world you are.