Editorial comment – Fire safety matters

Abhinesh Chand at his aunt's home which was destroyed in a fire. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Every time someone dies in a house fire, there is great concern.

People want to know what caused the fire.

They will want to know who died, and how it happened.

It tugs at the heart strings.

It raises concern, and causes friction in some affected families.

There are many questions asked, and there is a yearning for answers.

Death is inevitable.

However, death, when it happens in a house fire, is frustrating because accidents can be prevented.

Every year we hear of fire safety campaigns.

We hear about the concerns of the police and the fire authorities.

We hear good advice and we read stories we can relate to.

Yet house fires continue to happen around the country.

We realise accidents will happen.

However, there is an expectation that accidents can be prevented.

That’s where awareness comes in, and fire safety must be placed on the highest pedestal.

We learn that a close-knit community in Varadoli, Ba, is still reeling in shock after losing a loved one in a house fire early yesterday morning.

Dhan Raji, 83, died trapped inside the burning house.

“The alarm was raised between 3.30am to 4am when my aunt Madhu rushed out from her burning house and informed us that her mother was still trapped inside the house,” a relative Abhinesh Chand said.

The flames, he said, were too strong for them to go inside.

Police confirmed the death and said investigations were continuing.

We should be alarmed by deaths in house fires.

In fact we should all be actively calling for a relook at how we can best create awareness about fire safety issues on the home front.

Whether we start from home, at school or at work, fire safety is important.

Now the key should be in the dissemination of relevant information to the masses, and motivating people to be vigilant and to actively promote safety issues.

Aside from the urgent need to educate people about fire safety issues, emphasis should also be on relevant topics such as home construction, and a more proactive approach to prevent fires perhaps.

We may be resilient people, but property fires can sap the energy and fight in anyone.

Losing a home can be demoralising, and stressful.

It is devastating.

It leaves a dent in the pocket, and can leave families financially stressed for a very long time.

It is sad when years of hard work goes up in flames.

Losing a life hurts and is emotionally draining.

It leaves a life-time scar on the mind of those impacted.

Our challenge is to embrace advice and be aware.

Fire safety matters.

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