The occurrence of fires in buildings in the country is predominantly tilted towards urban conglomerations. The cities, grappling with unplanned growth of built environment, boast of high-rise buildings, mammoth apartment blocks, large commercial establishments, educational institutions and recreational facilities.
For reasons unknown, this entire built environment has become precarious to fire hazards. The first stage of this is the misinformation about fire safety of buildings at the design stage, then at construction stage, later at the occupation and building use stage.
This character of misinformation is the main cause and concern for fire safety of buildings.
The concept of fire safety itself is one of uncertainty, since lacking of fire safety may never be noticed except in the rare event that a fire reveals them, by which time it is too late and often tragic.
Undeniably, there is widespread misinformation about what constitutes good fire safety.
Most of us have no experience of fire in buildings, but that doesn't mean we should not have awareness of fire safety. Absolute fire safety does not exist.
Human activity will always and unavoidably involve fire risks.
To make meaningful decisions regarding fire risks, it is necessary that the risks involved in fire safety have to be analysed. Risk has always been a part of human endeavour; risk is generically defined as the uncertainty of loss, so to better understand fire risk, losses due to fire hazard have to be studied and analysed.
Losses in fire hazard at the first stage is number of deaths, value of property damaged and this is the most often talked about.
The second part that is usually not included is the intangible losses such as business interruption, mission failure, and degradation of the environment, and also a lot of stigma and mental pain for those who went through the accident.
To achieve good fire safety, we should first study and analyse these losses, and then we will be in a position to state what are the risks involved in fire safety and then work out means and ways to address these specific risks. When we understand the risk in totality, then only we can endeavour safety meticulously.