There is an acute shortage of infrastructure to deal with fire hazard in big cities in Pakistan. Consequently, fire hazard poses a serious threat to economic and social activites in these cities. Unfortunately, the scale of this threat is not fully recognised in Pakistan despite the fact that recent fire incidences in different cities of Pakistan have resulted in considerable economic and life losses. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a survey which was conducted in one of the largest cities of Pakistan to determine the nature and level of this threat. A critical evaluation of available resources with the Fire Brigade Department (FBD) to deal with the fire hazard in the city confirmed a lack of infrastructure facilities and adequate training. A conceptual framework model for fire risk management is proposed to reduce the level of this threat.
This study is based on a survey of fire exposed buildings in Karachi (one of the largest cities of Pakistan) and the analysis of available resources and infrastructure of FBD. A total of 13 sites were visited and interviews were conducted. Fire stations in the city were visited and an inventory of available resources was prepared. The data of fire incidents and human and economic losses were collected and analysed. Based on the findings, a conceptual framework model was suggested for fire risk management in the city.
The survey of the fire exposed structures indicated that negligence, violation of building codes, unawareness of safety measures, carelessness, and lack of training were the major causes of fire incidents. An acute shortage of facilities and infrastructure for fire fighting was noted. The recording mechanism of data related to fire incidents was found to be inadquate.
The paper is a small but original contribution to identify a potential hazard which is faced by the businesses and community in the city. This is the first attempt (to the best of authors’ knowledge) to mitigate the effects of fire hazard.
The suggested model can be employed by the authorities as a guideline to mitigate fire hazard in the country.
The paper provides valuable information on the fire incidents and human and economic losses in Pakistan. The suggested model can become helpful in reducing fire hazard in Pakistan.
Masood Rafi, M., Wasiuddin, S. and Hameed Siddiqui, S. (2012), "Assessment of fire hazard in Pakistan", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 71-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653561211202719Download as .RIS
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