INDIA: The leading cause of fire accidents in India is electrical short circuits, which frequently result from poor-quality wires and cables. According to ASCI data, in the past decade, electrocution accounted for about 73% of the total human deaths, which includes electrical fires for about 11%, and lightning for about 16%. Smoke inhalation kills more people during a fire outbreak than the fire itself, which is a lesser-known fact. To address these serious risks, Mr. Shreegopal Kabra, Managing Director, RR Kabel, and past president, IEEMA; accompanied by industry leaders such as Vipul Ray, MD, Elmex Group, and Immediate past President, IEEMA, and S. Gopa Kumar, MD, Cape Electric, and Member, NFE (National Federation of Engineers for Electrical Safety), highlighted the lack of priority given to high-quality wires and cables in India.
Industry leaders believe that it is critical to educate people and authorities about the importance of electrical fire safety in both existing and new buildings. Organizations must quickly ascertain whether they are fire-safe. At the top management level, it is essential to implement systemic changes in how spaces are created that ensure a fire-safe environment. For residential communities, particularly high-rise buildings, which have a higher risk of fire, routine fire audits and drills are crucial.
Considering this, the leaders emphasized the importance of introducing legislation to take stringent action against the use of counterfeit wires and cables or substandard quality wires by developers. Counterfeit products are a growing concern in India, which ends in huge losses for the country. Above all, counterfeit wires are an alarming issue that endangers the lives of consumers as they are made of poor-quality materials. Wire and cable manufacturers can play a key role in bolstering safety in the country. For instance, RR Kabel was the first to introduce LS0H (Low Smoke, Zero Halogen) wires in India, as these wires do not produce a toxic combination of gas, acid, and smoke in case of any kind of accident. It is also the only company in India to have the 450001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, ensuring a healthy and safe work environment for all its staff.
Addressing the issues, Shreegopal Kabra, Managing Director, RR Kabel, said, “The majority of the nation’s infrastructure is susceptible to many electrical fire threats, frequently because the proper protocols and understanding of building construction are lacking. The risks from these fires have a substantial impact on life and the loss of property, priceless papers, jewelry, etc. Consumers are privy to one harsh reality: smoke caused by electrical mishaps and fire accidents is much more dangerous than the actual fires themselves, and the results are mostly fatal. We, at RR Kabel, have been at the forefront of creating awareness in the country about electrical fire safety and the importance of using electrical fire-safe, premium-quality wires. We want citizens to understand electrical fire safety and take a pledge with us to build a safe country and curb the loss of lives that take place due to quality issues.”
Additionally, S. Gopa Kumar, MD, Cape Electric, and Member, NFE, said, “There is a need for strict rules and regulations to come into play for citizens to be more informed on the importance of quality wires and cables within their surroundings and homes. Building a robust electrical fire-safe ecosystem is the need of the hour, and this will only happen with education about its importance. Through this initiative, we will drive this change among consumers and all our stakeholders to join the movement to boycott counterfeit products, especially wires, and cables. We urge people to ensure consumers’ safety at our core. With united efforts, we can aim to build a fire safe nation.”
Vipul Ray, MD, Elmex Group, and Immediate past President, IEEMA, said, “We are pleased to join this movement that aims to sound the alarm on this situation and address it as a global affair that needs its priority. Quality determines our country’s growth roadmap, and ending counterfeiting is the first step to a rapidly progressing economy. Electrical fire- safety plays a critical role in any structure, be it an education facility or hospital, or public space. A recent report by NCRB states that on average 35 people were killed due to fire mishaps in the last five years. This happens when product quality is compromised. It is high time, policymakers bring strict laws with a better implementation that welcomes tactical steps to deal with the problem. We jointly aim to create more awareness to ensure electrical fire safety among citizens.”