The Holiday’s editorial on the disastrous fire at Churihatta that killed at least 71 people (Blazing inferno at Chawkbazar: Taskforce on fire safety a must, 1 March 2019) has correctly pinpointed that dealers and traders of flammables have not learnt any lesson from the Nimtoli blazing inferno of 3 June 2010 in downtown Dhaka that killed 124 people.
It needs no elaboration that there are specific guidelines for the safe storage and use of flammables. The flashpoint and boiling point determine the category of a flammable liquid. Flashpoint is the minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off enough vapour to form a flammable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid.
A combustible liquid is any liquid having a flashpoint at or below 199.4°F (93 °C). Flammable liquids are divided into four categories
A fundamental means of fire protection is the use of flammable storage cabinets. Safety cabinets are offered in single or two-door modes with manual or self-closing doors. Manual doors open a full 180 degrees and require the user to physically shut the door(s). Self-closing, self-indexing doors incorporate a mechanism that automatically shuts the doors upon release.
Five different teams of a government taskforce snapped utility connections to 18 buildings that housed illegal warehouses and factories in the old town. The owners of the chemical warehouses and factories alleged that the authorities were evicting their businesses without providing them with land, time and other facilities for relocation. The authorities should facilitate relocation of warehouses for flammable substances without delay.
Shafiq Adnan Nabil