Lessons for future disasters
By Arezoo Dehghani
The Plasco building accident on December 20, 2016 was a national catastrophe due to the deterioration and insecurity of electrical wiring, the presence of numerous capsules of liquefied gas and flammable liquids, and the accumulation of clothes and clothing in the corridors and floors of the building. 10 civilians were killed, more than 500 clothing stores and manufacturers were destroyed, and more than 3,000 workers lost their jobs.
According to the Crisis Management Index provided by the Crisis Management Organization, an accident with more than 10 killed and less than 100 killed or between 100 and 1,000 injured is considered a local accident, but the Plasco incident was also widely reported in the world news agencies. And it is referred to as an incident with national dimensions. These cases show that accidents with these dimensions are considered very important due to their health, social and economic effects, and its recurrence will have irreparable consequences and damages. Also, considering the accident rate in our country, it should be noted that prevention of occurrence such incidents and the preparedness of relief organizations and even the general public can improve the response to these incidents and the management of such incidents.
One of the most important principles in preventing accidents in busy buildings and community preparedness is to promote the safety of structural and non-structural structures of such buildings. Failure to maintain high-volume fuel sources such as gasoline and oil in these buildings is essential. Equipping floors and structural units with smoke and fire detectors and fire extinguishers can be one of the first steps to improve preparedness. Firefighting methods, safe evacuation of high-rise buildings and residential complexes should be taught to residents and repeated and practised by them annually as evacuation orders or appropriate relief measures may be issued based on the initial accident diagnosis. The next important point in terms of safety is high-rise buildings, the safe and emergency exit of people from the building. This means that we can get people out of the building in the shortest possible time, despite problems such as chaos in the building.
Therefore, exit routes and emergency stairs must be safe and the route must be clear for the sudden evacuation of the building. Emergency exit signs must be installed on all floors of busy structures. All emergency exit signs are properly installed everywhere, and all escape routes are open and people know where they are so they can leave quickly and safely at the best possible time. Early fire alarm systems and similar incidents should be installed in such centres. Emergency evacuation is another way to effectively guide building occupants out of the building as best they can. Systems such as alarms and traditional warning systems are not suitable for high-rise buildings. In such cases, residents should be instructed on how and in what way they can best get out of the building in a controlled manner.
On the other hand, high-traffic buildings with low safety should be identified and in addition to warning of danger to owners in terms of safety, assistance and advice should be provided. Regulatory bodies must act more carefully and powerfully in matters related to the safety and lives of their compatriots. For buildings that have old wiring, there is a need for constant inspection, and the performance of wiring and the like should be constantly monitored to be serviced and maintained as needed. Equipping relief organizations with appropriate equipment and training and empowering the staff of these organizations will also be very important factors in crisis management.
Coordination between relief organizations will prevent duplication and waste of financial, human and equipment resources, so this coordination should be done before accidents occur so that in the event of similar accidents, the response process can be started quickly and the resulting human and financial consequences. Due to the recurrence of such incidents as Deylam Bazaar, Sina Clinic, etc., such as the need to maintain fire safety systems, eliminate inspection and monitoring weaknesses for existing and old buildings, the need to strengthen the organization of crisis management, serious absence of insurance In promoting the level of fire safety, the public should pay less attention to the importance of fire safety in buildings and its components and the serious need for public behaviour during fires and public education should be given more attention by institutions and state management.