Fire Breaks out cases turning as Biggest threat to Wood Panel Industry

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Incidents of fire have been increasing at home, hotels, offices, manufacturing establishments etc, due to which the fire protection has now become one of the major priorities of human being. The incidents of fire are also noticed in the plywood factory, wood based panel industries, furniture units and wooden warehouses. Increasing fire breaks out cases have been emerging the biggest threats to entire wood panel sector. Due to fire, wood panel industries are facing loss of crores of rupees per year.

Summer season means the most fire incidents

Summer season actsy in the incidents of fire in India. Hotels, Institutes, Factories and workplaces like wood-based panel manufacturing units, wood processing plants such as

veneer, particle board, plywood, wooden furniture making establishment, etc. are the places where most recent incidents of fire are occurring these days, because all three compulsory elements or contents i.e. heat, fuel and oxygen required for fire at these sites are present in adequate quantities. During the manufacturing process in a plant, machines gets huge friction, automation, and tools & equipments generate heat in large. Apart from this, due to the strong sunlight in summer, the amount of heat increases in large quantity naturally in the atmosphere. RAW materials used in making products and flammable dust arising from various types of chemicals during manufacturing process lead to act as fuel. The third important element in the fire is- oxygen, which should be at least 11 percent, but in all normal environments including those sites, approximately 21 percent of oxygen is commonly present. In all these circumstances, a small spark also takes a strange form of fire, which has many frightening consequences.

Although there is no any link to fire incidents with any time or season. Whatever may be caused to the fire, this flurry of fire arises when there is optimum environment. But due to the presence of more heat already in theatmosphere, the fire spreads and flows in hot weather very quickly and rapidly. Often the h like enemeat starts increasing in India every year from April. April to July, there is more heat in the atmosphere than usual. Therefore, the most horrific events of the fire come out in this season. In recent times, there have been many reports of fire broke out cases in wood panels, plywood, Particle Boards, furniture and all kinds of wood based industries and establishments across the country. From April 25, to May 10 that in a period of a fortnight, more than a dozen big cases of fire broke out have been reported across the country, which is related to wood based industries and establishments including plywood and furniture manufacturing units.

Recent big incidents of fire in the Wood Panel Industry in India

The major incidents of fire in plywood and all wood based industries during the above said period are linked to almost every region in the country. In the above period alone, more than dozen of Plywood factories suffered losses of crores of rupees due to the fire in Punjab and Haryana, including the biggest plywood hub of the country, Yamunanagar.

On April 25, a huge fire broke out in the Saraswati Ply Board Factory located at Jagadhri-Chaneta Road in Yamunanagar. Raw materials worth lacs of rupees were burnt. More the 11 fire tenders of fire brigade managed to control the fire after their hard efforts. Similarly, on May 8, the incident happened in the SS Wood Craft Factory located at Khajuri road of Yamunanagar. Fire brigade team hardy managed to control the fire after 5 hours, but till then the raw and finished goods, including machinery engaged in the factory, were burnt to ashes. On 29 April, Radha Plywood, located in Suva Road in Dhadri, Ludhiana, also suffered a fierce fire. This was the second major incident of fire within three days in this area. In these two incidents, the fire was controlled after hours of hard work. On April 29, all the material kept in a Plywood godown located at Focal Point in Patiala was burnt to ashes. This fire spread to the spare parts workshop adjacent to it and the loss of millions of Rupees was occurred. On 2nd May, a plywood unit, named Gupta Agro Company in Taragarh Road near Nasralla industrial area on Hoshiarpur Jalandhar road, caused a fierce fire, the entire stock, raw materials, machinery and shade was burnt down. It took 10 hours to control the fire by fire brigade team. Factory owner Dinesh Gupta claimed to have lost upto Rs 15 million due to this fire incident.

On April 27, the Plywood Factory, located at Barnala- Bakhkhana Road in Kaithal, Haryana, suffered heavy losses due to fierce fire. Factory owner Binnu Bansal and Satpal Gandhi claimed to lose about Rs 20 lakh. On April 26, a fire in a factory located in Govindpura industrial area of Bhopal blaze with a wooden material worth millions of rupees. Similarly, on May 7, a fire broke out in the Sarvesh Plywood in the Timber Market area of Chandan Nagar police station area of Indore. On May 8, a plywood seat and wood burning worth millions of rupees was burnt in a factory called Diamond Plywood near Kheda-Dholka Highway in Kheda district of Gujarat. On May 9, furniture worth lakhs of rupees were burnt due to a fierce fire in the factory of a large furniture near Murri Mata Temple in Rajajipuram of Thakurganj PS, Luknow in UP.

Due to these incidents, entrepreneurs associated with such wood based industry have faced the on the spot direct losses of millions of rupees. Due to the closure of industries caused by such incidents of fire, there are many different losses, such as the end of the employment of the workers and the production ceasing etc. These enterprises affected by the fire will need big capital once again to get it started. In these incidents, if small accidents of fire are also included, then the estimates of fire extinguishing incidents of average more than one- and-a-half incident related to fire every day can be easily applied in this industry.

Such incidents related to the fire occur in the Wood Panel industry happens every year and almost everyworth crores of rupees including the industry and thepeople associated with such big and small enterprises.In addition to involving incidents of residential and other industrial fire, this figure increases manifold, this puts the country and the entire industry in a very worrisome situation. The manufacturing process is quite complex in wood processing plants than other industries. The characteristics natural wood contains and works as the best conductor for fire and heat. In such a situation, the presence of wood in the form of high fire load on these sites leads to a rapidly formidable form of fire and in the moment it results in big losses of goods and property.

Most losses of life and property in industrial areas

In recent years, incidents of fire in India are increasing rapidly. These incidents have raised the challenge of maintaining the entire system, including the common man, every moment of the fire. Many different incidents of fire in the country so far, thousands of people have been killed in a painful way. Incidents of fire are increasing year on year basis. This is more worrisome for the industrial leaders of the country. Overall incidents of fire occurring in the country every year, about 58 percent of industrial fire occurs. In these incidents, wood-based enterprises and units are in high risk category, which is most affected by the fire.

There are more than 19,000 incidents of fire occurring in the country every year, out of which about 11,000 incidents are associated only with industrial fire, and about half a million people suffer from premature death. According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the total number of human deaths due to unnatural occurrence in a fire-borne accident is far more than this figure. According to the data released by the NCRB in 2015, during the reporting year, there were 18,450 cases of fire in the whole country. In these incidents, 17,700 people died and 1,193 injured. Among them, the number of cases related to residential buildings was 42%, of which 7,445 people died.

Fire is High risk category in every industry including wood panel

The case of fire and its risk is increasing year after year and fire is turning as major challenge for the country. The incidents of fire are also emerging as a major obstacle in National and Industrial Growth. Therefore, the fire has also been included in serious threats like terrorist attacks, road accidents, bribery, corruptions, corporate fraud, natural hazards and information and cyber insecurity.

Fire Risk Survey (FRS) – 2017 jointly conducted by Risk Management Solutions Company Pinkerton and thecountry’s leading industrial organization ‘Federation of Indian Chambers and Industry’ (FICCI), ranked ‘FIRE’ in fifth position of top risk category, up by three positions from last year’s ranking of said period. The shocking thing is that the fire was placed in the 9th Rank in Risk in 2015 and the 8th risk ranking in 2016. This figure indicates that the risk of fire is increasing steadily.

The risk of fire is the second biggest challenge for many industries said in above FRS survey. The risk of fire for retail, hospitality and infrastructure sector is at the top 2 position. Though the survey is not directly involved in the Wood panel industry, but by analyzing the incidents and trends of fire in here, it shows that the risk of fire is also the highest for this wood panel industry. Fire risk is also the third number in a very important industry, such as education, medical services and media and entertainment. According to the FRS survey of FICCI, the risk of fire in ‘Overall Risk-Yearly Trends’ has increased in every sector and industry in last few years.

Causes behind increasing risk of fire

Fire Cell of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also highlighted the truth behind the rising incidents of fire in the country, which is very worrisome for all. The high number of casualties and material damage caused by fire is due to lax and inadequate safety provisions and response mechanisms. There is a huge lax in the security provisions and negligence related to fire. According to this report, there is a shortage of 97.59 percent fire stations, 96.28 percent fireman and, 80.04 percent of rescue vehicles in India. Urban fire services are afflicted by severe deficiencies; 72.75 percent in fire stations, 78.79 percent in manpower, and 22.43 percent in fire fighting and rescue vehicles. Entire fire service is suffering from such challenges since long.

Fire incidents are also increasing because fire fighting equipments and related norms not being adopted by industrial units including residential buildings. Several important guidelines related to fire safety have been issued to prevent incidents of fire in National Building Code (NBC) 2005, but they are being ignored at large level. The large number of workforce present in the industrial units is not fully trained on the safety measures during the fire. Apart from this, the incidents of fire in the country are also increasing due to reasons such as human negligence,the use of cheap and non-certified fire safety equipment, negligence of fire service related government systems and the officials, corruption and bribery are major hurdles in order to reduce and prevent the fire incidents in country.

Fire Protection at industries

Fire accidents are increasing in the industries. Such fire not only results in huge loss of lives and property but also disrupt production in the industry. It is said that it is better to have protection better than cure, so the industry need to have better protected with following guidelines.

 Common cause of industrial fire need to be taken care of: such as leaks and spillage of flammable/combustible material; electrical shot circuiting/overloading; overheated bare surfaces/heaters/electric lamps; equipment failure. Smoking in prohibited area, chemical reaction/runway reaction; frictional heat/spark; spontaneous combustion, static sparks/combustion sparks; naked live wire; molten substances, etc.

BASIC PREVENTIVE MEASURES

  •  Ensure high housekeeping standard
  • Cover trash containers tightly and empty them regularly
  • Segregate flammable material from source of ignition
  • Promptly eliminate oil/gas leaks and clean spillage of Flammable material
  • Strictly adhere to work permit instructions for welding, cutting and other hot work in areas where flammables are present.
  • Store incompatible chemicals separately
  • Where flammables are stored and used, ensure adequate ventilation, prohibits smoking, and use flame proof electric equipments.
  • Keep fuses and control boxes clean and closed
  • Avoid multi socket connections
  • Electrical repair should be carried out by qualified personnel
  • Don’t use damaged electric cords and avoid temporary connections
  • Lubricate, maintain and align all machines/ equipments to prevent generation of heat, etc.

Fire Prevention and Safety 

Due to rising incidents of fire, every person needs to be cautious now. Therefore, proper remedial measures should be taken from home to office and workplaces.

According to the Shape and size, structure of the factory, workplace, home or any institution and the number of persons usually present there, it is necessary to apply fire resistant devices with appropriate capacity accordance to these things. The following measures must be taken to prevent fire or safety during fire.

  • Always Dial 101 number and Call fire brigade immediately in any situation of fire. If possible, get informed of the fire situation, the number of people present on the spot and location of incident to the fire brigade team. Never think that someone else has given this information before.
  • Must install a smoke detector at home, office, work place or factory etc.
  • Keep checking the fire alarm, smoke detector, water source, public announcement system, fire extinguisher in the building at a fixed time interval.
  • Practice the fire fighting equipment installed on the factory or workplace and from time to time give training to the staff.
  • Activate fire alarms on the office or workplace when the fire occurs. Notify the fire and alert the people around.
  • Use only stairs and close the lift in case of fire.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with wet cloth or toil when surrounded by smoke, so that the smoke cannot go in. If you are trapped in a room full of smoke, do not have a way to get out, close the doors and seal all the cracks and the holes with wet towels or sheets, so that the smoke cannot come inside the room.
  • Keep in mind the expiry date of fire extinguishers. From time to time, continue to servicing the equipment and change the fire extinguishing gas or chemical on time.
  • Do not allow crowds near the spot when the fire occurs, this prevents fire service and rescue work.
  • Do not run in case of fire on clothing wear by you, it will cause the fire to flare up. Lie down on the ground and roll over or roll a blanket with heavy cloth and extinguish the fire.
  • Get the insurance of factory, home, work place, office or institute etc.

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