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About Vault Security

In recent days we have observed some concerns on vault security. Vaults of some banks are successfully attacked by bank robbers. This created a scope to discuss certain things about vault security which many of us are ignorant. First thing we need to understand that no vault can provide you absol.........
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By: Major (R) nurul M Choudhury MBA CPP

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By: Major (R) nurul M Choudhury MBA CPP

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Awareness is the only way to prevent fire hazard
I had very mixed feelings when I heard the owner of Tajrin garments is behind the bar. Same happened when I saw standard garments vast factory is under fire or the garment owner died in own sweater factory due to unfortunate fire hazard. A garment owner is providing entrepreneurship or taking risk of his money and time to develop his factory does no way want to see his property is turning into ashes. But still we often hear incidents of fire. Such incidents not only affect an owner or workers of the factory but also tarnish our national image in world apparel market. Famous brands buying from Bangladeshi RMG has now developed organization to assist Bangladesh garment sector for safe work place for workers. As part of their awareness development plan they have arranged demonstration of fire safety equipment in a local hotel in last week. This may generate awareness among the industrialist or increase sale of foreign branded fire equipment but to me such approach will not bring ultimate solution to our problem. As a student of security and safety I always wondered how to bring a long lasting solution to this fire hazard. Some may argue to have better firefighting units with fire brigade while others may emphasize on fire drill and evacuation practice. In reality we continue to get news of fire incidents in even compliant factories, as such, it is already proved that guidelines of Bangladesh National Building code or fire safety act etc. are not sufficient to stop fire incident. Putting a garment owner behind bar also cannot bring solution. Building used for industrial purpose are given permission for conducting their operation after being inspected and approved by govt. authorities like city corporation, fire brigade, inspectors of labor ministry and so on. When such govt. approved buildings becomes victim of evil fire we should understand that our total approach to develop industrial safety needs a through revision. We need to find answers of three questions. First what is the root cause of maximum fire incidents? Is it arson or electrical spark or non-adherence to safety practices? Second, how does a fire spread so quickly in an incident site? Third; why people get stuck inside the burning building and become affected? To solve the case we can find historical data of all fire incidents and come to a conclusion what is the main reason that causes a fire. In most cases we hear the fire fighters are indicating electric short circuits are the main reason which causes most fire. There may be many more reasons which needs to be listed and precaution plan needs to be developed to avoid such incidents. Secondly , why does fire spread so quickly? Out entrepreneurs mostly depends on a civil engineer and an architect to design his factory building. I firmly feel that they should include a fire safety specialist and a security specialist while designing a factory building. Besides while planning interior and work place design they do not put much emphasis that’s why we often see in most high raised factory ground floors are used as storing goods. We also see the example that they make emergency exits in a way which itself become a death hole in case of major incident. They use such kind of interior material which itself becomes fire loading and helps to spread the fire quickly. I would rather advice the entrepreneur to assign a fire safety specialist or fire engineer with the interior designer to implement the concept of natural fire safety while planning the interior of a factory. Thirdly why people become victim and death toll is very high in various fire incidents? I feel most of the factory owner consider fire brigade as their first line firefighting force without developing their own capacity to prevent and fight fire. In a country like Bangladesh where a fire unit needs at least two to three hours to reach to fire incident spot due to heavy traffic, while a big fire can cause damage within 30 minutes to the unfortunate victims. Therefore it is essential to build such building where evacuation of whole building is possible within 10/15 minutes. The build emergency exits should be open so that an emergency stairs case does not become a death trap due to the presence of smoke. It is essential to issue gas mask to all the workers as personal protective equipment (PPE) and train them to evacuate quickly without being panicked. It is also essential to develop a fire safety team. To make it more cost effective security force of the factory may be trained as fire safety first line force who should be trained to detect a fire quickly, fight the fire and assist people to evacuate quickly. It is also needed to develop mutual aid firefighting organization with necessary equipment where numbers of factories are operating in close geographical location. This will work as second line fire fighting force before the fire brigade reaches the incident spot. Most important word for fire safety is to develop awareness among the factory owners and the workers. A factory owner must understand that he might survive petty thefts but a good fire can put him out of the business. Nurul M Choudhury CPP Certified protection Professional from ASIS Int’l USA

By: Major (R) nurul M Choudhury MBA CPP
Date: 2014-03-04