A lot of disastrous fire incidents occur from time to time in our country and many die or are seriously injured. 90% of fire deaths which are reported worldwide happens because of fire in buildings. (Source: Center of Fire statistics of CTIF 2006).
And 65% fires occur due to short circuit. (Please find the article published in Times of India)
The primary reason of casualties in building fire are smoke & hazardous emissions which reduce the chance to escape. The sheer volume of cables in modern buildings due to the rapid technological evolution (electrical appliances, telephones, computer connections) represent a significant quantity of fuel for fire and acts as a vector of propagation of fire.
During fires, buildings should remain functional to help in the evacuation process. People’s safety is the priority, fire safety equipment’s like warning systems, smoke detector, smoke extractor, emergency exits and firefighting equipment are key and must remain functional. Electrical cables are backbone of all these equipment’s. Half the battle can be won if cables going inside the building is monitored. It is a dire need of the hour to have a HFFR cable specification in place at the earliest through Bureau of Indian Standards.
We are a populous country, our population is increasing and we have no option but to go vertical and since we are going vertical we are more vulnerable to fires. Most of the fires occur due to electrical fault or short-circuit. And thus independent authorities have already revised their internal documents for the use of HFFR cables instead of normal PVC cables.
All the metros are currently using the HFFR cables in its construction and not to forget the Airport authorities in India who have been making considerate efforts to replace the normal cables with HFFR. Thus a Halogen Free Flame Retardant cable specification code should come in place likewise in developed countries which have got it to practice.
If steps are not taken at the right time we will continue to face disasters and irreparable losses followed by regret.