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Safety concern: PGIMER plans to install 1,700 advanced fire extinguishers

Move comes in wake of blaze last month

Safety concern: PGIMER plans to install 1,700 advanced fire extinguishers

A gutted room at Nehru Hospital after a fire last month. file



Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, December 7

In the wake of the fire incident that engulfed ‘C’ block at Nehru Hospital in the PGIMER last month, resulting in significant damage, the hospital is now taking measures to enhance its fire safety protocols.

The PGIMER plans to install approximately 1,700 fire extinguishers equipped with advanced technology to bolster its firefighting capability.

PGIMER Director Prof Vivek Lal said, “By January 1, the hospital will be equipped with enhanced fire safety measures, boasting installation of 1,700 advanced fire extinguishers.”

The new range of fire extinguishers includes water mist, clean agent and powder. The clean agent extinguisher is known for being electrically non-conductive, volatile and gaseous, leaving no residue upon evaporation. This makes it suitable for dealing with fires involving electrical equipment.

The water mist extinguisher, on the other hand, employs fine water particles to douse flames. The small droplets effectively control the flames by reducing the temperature of the blaze and its surroundings.

The PGIMER currently relies on over 2,500 fire extinguishers, primarily of ABC and CO2 types. ABC extinguishers are suitable for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and electrical fires, while CO2 extinguishers are effective against electrical fires.

The recent challenge faced during the Nehru fire incident was the presence of batteries in the affected room. This made the use of water impossible due to the risk of electrocution for firefighters. To tackle fires involving primary cell lithium batteries, a specialised powder fire extinguisher designed for combustible metal fires, including lithium, is being procured by the institute.

In addition to the installation of fire extinguishers, the PGIMER is planning to enhance the skills of its paramedical staff and healthcare workers. Plans are underway to provide comprehensive training on the proper use of fire extinguishers. This will empower the hospital staff to respond effectively in case of fire emergencies, ensuring the safety of both personnel and patients.

Types of equipment

  • The new range to be procured by the PGI includes water mist, clean agent and powder fire extinguishers.
  • The clean agent extinguisher is known for being electrically non-conductive, volatile and gaseous, leaving no residue upon evaporation. This makes it suitable for dealing with fires involving electrical equipment.
  • The water mist extinguisher, on the other hand, employs fine water particles to douse flames. The small droplets effectively control the flames by reducing the temperature of the blaze and its surroundings.
  • To tackle fires involving primary cell lithium batteries, a specialised powder fire extinguisher designed for combustible metal fires, including lithium, is being procured.

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