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The lack of of fire safety norms has become common in recent times. This is evident from the recent devastating fire that broke out in a coaching centre in Surat, India. Most of the victims were children. Many were charred to death. Others were injured. Videos surfaced online show children jumping out of the burning building, with no one to catch them.

There have countless mishaps across India that were a result of poor fire safety measures. What is worse is that the fire brigade took a long time to reach the scene. They were not fully equiped for the tragedy either. They did not have a safety net or a long ladder to reach the victims. If they had better qeuipment, many lives could have been saved. Students jumped out of the windows to escape the fire amd either died or got injured.

Sometiems, we see fire extinguishers and other safety equipment, but it could just be for show. It is possible that when the need arises, they would not work.

To avoid a tragedy like the one in Surat, the Indian government should strictly instruct the fire department to carry out a fire safety audit in public places, coaching centers, big shopping malls and commercial places, restaurants, and other crowded places. If we inspect, we will find that a lot of fire safety measures have been violated. Action should be taken against those to blame for this incident.

- The reader is a resident of Bangalore, India.