Maharashtra Education department cracks fire safety whip

The Maharashtra state education department has instructed schools and junior colleges to install fire-fighting equipment at the earliest keeping in mind student safety. The instructions were sent to schools after an inspection by fire officials revealed that many schools failed to take adequate measures.

The circular which was sent to schools last week has quoted the Supreme Court’s 2004 order that makes it mandatory for schools to take fire-safety measures. These include installing smoke alarms, sprinklers, fire extinguishers and drills to train students and staff in evacuation. “Compared to old schools, new schools are now housed in sky-scrapers and are air conditioned so there might be a problem in case of a fire. We have asked schools to install the fire extinguishers and maintain them well. Training to deal with an emergency is also important,” said PS Rahangdale, Chief Fire Officer.