Firefighters are now capable of managing large fire incidents as the fire service has been upgraded with modern equipment.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said this while inaugurating the 5th International Fire Safety and Security Expo 2018 yesterday.
“If we look back, you'll see that 10 years ago we had no equipment for extinguishing fire in high-rises like Bashundara Shopping Complex and Tazrin Garments… We lacked modern safety equipment and technology. Now the scenario has changed,” he said.
The event is being organised by the Electronics Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital.
The minister said Bangladesh fire service remains alert 24 hours to manage any fire accident and disaster. But there is no alternative to raising awareness among people to ensure fire safety.
He informed that his ministry has taken some initiatives to enhance professional capabilities of the firefighters.
“There were only 193 fire stations in the country before the Awami League-led government came to power in 2009. Now there are 335 fire stations... The number will be 554 within a couple of months.”
Appreciating the initiative of the expo, he said such an event will help enhance social awareness by introducing latest and modern technologies to the potential users.
A total of 60 companies from the safety and security sector from 30 countries are taking part in the three-day event to showcase their products and services.
Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, said fire risks and hazards are increasing due to a rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and infrastructure development. “As per the fire service statistics, 18,105 fire incidents were reported in 2017 in the country.”
Rapid Action Battalion Director General Benazir Ahmed, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Siddiqur Rahman and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Shafiul Islam were present as special guests. ESSAB President Motaher Hoshan Khan and the expo Convener Engineer Monzur Alam also spoke.