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Haryana issues notice to 3 Panipat hospitals over fire safety norms

Taking a lesson from the fire incident at a Delhi-based neonatal nursing home, the Fire Department has launched a special drive to inspect hospitals, nursing homes, gaming zones and high-rise buildings in the district.

The department on Saturday carried out inspections at eight hospitals and issued notices to three hospitals for anomalies.

There are nearly 250 nursing homes and hospitals in the district. This year, a total of 1,200 fire incidents have been reported within six months in the district. According to officials, on an average, the district witnesses 600 fire incidents in a year. They attributed the rise in such incidents to the sweltering heat in 2024.

Following the fire incidents in Delhi and Rajkot, the Director, Fire and Emergency Services, directed all district fire officers to conduct inspections and fire audits of all hospitals, nursing homes, high-rise buildings and gaming zones in the state under the Haryana Fire and Emergency Services Act 2022.

On May 26, six newborns died in the fire that broke out at Baby Care New Born Hospital in Delhi’s Vivek Vihar.

The Director also sought detailed inspection reports from the district fire officers.

Amit Goswami, leading fireman, Panipat, said the Fire Department has launched a special drive to carry out inspections at hospitals in the district.

He said, “The maximum number of fire incidents has been reported in industrial units. The fire has resulted in the loss of goods, buildings and other valuables. But if a fire breaks out at any nursing home or hospital, the lives of patients are at risk. Taking it seriously, we have decided to carry out special inspections at hospitals in the district.”

He said on Saturday, three hospitals failed to show a valid fire safety certificate and notices were issued to these. “During the inspection, it came to light that hospital employees were not trained to operate fire safety equipment. Thereafter, the Fire Department organised a training session at all eight hospitals and mock drills were held in three hospitals,” he said.

During the inspections, officials are checking the hospital or nursing home’s NOC, fire safety equipment and whether the hospital staff are trained to operate the equipment. Besides, it is being inspected whether the building is constructed as per the fire norms. Entry and exit points of the building are also be inspected.

The Fire Department will also organise a training session and mock drills at other hospitals.

Dr Pankaj Mutneja, former state president of the Indian Medical Association, said doctors are law-abiding citizens and without getting fire NOCs, it is not possible to run a hospital.

Admitting the lack of trained staff in private nursing homes and hospitals, Dr Mutneja said, “It is unfortunate that firefighting equipment have been installed in almost all big private hospitals, but the employees are not trained to operate these. It will be a big challenge to use these at the time of any untoward incident.” Tribune India

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