India woke up to reports of a fire in hospitals with several deaths of the patients, evoking emotions, and anger. The fire accident at Serum Institute of India caught the media & public attention as SII is playing a significant role in the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines. Time and again, there have been various incidents of fire accidents reported across the world and in varied settings. It evokes emotions of fear, worry, sympathy, but more needs to be done.
One of the significant changes in the evolution of humankind is finding out about the fire and domestication of animals. Making fire to generate heat led to people to cook food. The ability to control fire was a dramatic change in the habits of early humans. Evidence of cooked food is traced back to one million years ago. Fire is the Rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products.
Would you risk your own life for saving someone and that whom you do not know? Firefighters are that breed who does it when needed and have chosen it to be their profession. International Firefighters’ Day, which is observed on May 4 every year, is all about them. It was instituted after a proposal was messaged the world over in 1999 about the death of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. To support the lives lost and dedicated firefighters who risk their lives every day to save life and property. International Firefighters’ Day is also about those people involved in this profession but also by all emergency workers. The symbol of International Firefighters’ Day is the red and blue ribbon. Red stood for the element of fire, whereas blue would represent the element of water. Coincidentally, red and blue are also the colours recognized worldwide to signify emergency services.
“Fireman” is an ancient profession. Ancient Egypt has the oldest mentioning of the professional firefighters. The first fire-fighting appliances are traced back to China. Germans were the first lawmakers in fire safety, with the first firefighters’ teams reported being in the 17th century. Prevention of fire and the need for training are among the main aspects of International Firefighters’ Day. Firefighters and their agencies worldwide are constantly stressing the importance of fire prevention: in schools, communities, and public event. Estonia has a Firefighting Museum, and the building is believed to be among the most brilliant pearls of Estonian architecture.
Accidental fires caused 6% of all unnatural deaths in India, the third highest after car accidents at 53%, and drowning at 9%. Fire accidents kill 54 people daily in India. The data indicates a steady year-on-year decline in the number of fire accidents reported in the country. Though there is a decline in the number of accidents due to fire, the significantly higher proportion of deaths than injuries is alarming. The ratio of fire accidents Incidents due to fire in residential buildings is on the rise. Lot is desired to be done when it comes to attending the burn injuries. India is very poorly equipped to handle them and with most of them in government hospitals.
The fire had different symbolic meanings for different religious beliefs. It could be purification processes, life-giving and, for some, connected with destruction. Hindu scriptures personified Fire (Agni) as one of the “Pancha Bhutas”. The five elements Earth, Water, Fire and Air and Space, are the basis of all cosmic creation. All rituals have fire associated with them due to the belief that fire was responsible for carrying the offerings of human beings to the gods. In the western world, fire has been regarded as one of the four classical elements.
Do not play with fire, one says, but that is the noble people’s profession. Day to recall their contributions and raise awareness to prevent fire accidents, enhance the health care system to treat burn victims. More importantly, their families are protected if the fireman doe does not return home.