Fire accidents in hospitals during covid, What are the causes and safety measures can we take?
11th May, 2021

As the pandemic unleashes its worst wave on India, our only savior is the hospitals. However, as we still fear Covid’s lethal wave, Several hospitals saw fire accidents that left the facility and its patients with damages and even death.

Impact of a fire accident during a pandemic.

The consequences of a fire incident in a hospital are serious and long-lasting. Fire spreads through and takes lives and damages property. And a silent killer, smoke, also follow through. Soot and smoke severely damage the lungs of not only Covid patients but others, too. Family members of patients bring them in hope of recovery but are shattered to lose their loved ones to a fire accident. Damages to property may still be covered but once a life lost can never be paid for. These incidents below are not just blotted on our system but the entire humanity, altogether.

Fire calamities that occurred in covid wards in hospitals.

  • ‘18 Covid Patients Dead In Fire At Gujarat Hospital’

    18 Corona patients died in a gut-wrenching fire accident on 1st May 2021. Around 50 patients were present in the four-story hospital when the fire broke out in the early morning. 

  • ‘15 COVID-19 patients die as fire engulfs ICU of the hospital in Maharashtra’s Virar’

    As Maharashtra fights its tough battle with the pandemic, patients lose their life to another calamity, hospital fire. The Chief Minister ordered an urgent probe after reviewing the tragedy.

Fire posing a risk to India’s healthcare

At the sight of it, it may seem that the hospital facility and deceased patients are the only major results of fire. The trauma that a patient has to go through deplores his mental state. To recover from any disease, it is integral to have the willpower to do so. A fire tragedy can wreck anyone’s mental wellbeing and deteriorate their conditions further. An unexpected accident at a hospital, during a pandemic, increases the chances of spreading it manifold.

Patients who are left alive would require burn treatment and add more pressure on the cracking system. Whenever a patient facility is damaged in any way, it reduces the efficiency of the entire system. Hospitals are unable to handle new patients under such circumstances.

Is there someone we can blame?

A series of fire accidents have damaged much more than just lives and property. What makes the situation worse is that fire continues to pose a threat to hospitals and it’s patients. These incidents are a consequence of improper workspace safety and negligence. 

Our dense population makes it easier for such incidents to take away many lives. Be it entangled wires or fire safety implementations, Indian hospitals feature them all. Moreover, People responsible for the implementation lack concern and responsibility. Henceforth, India becomes prey to such incidents even during a pandemic.

The constant human intervention and need for manpower to overlook every safety step is something that we need to avoid. So what can be done?

Can we use AI-based firefighting technology to tackle this issue?

As human negligence has already resulted in countless tragedies, it becomes pertinent to look for other solutions. With the world running so quickly, newer technologies have evolved to make our lives smoother. Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way today and comes across as one such solution.

  • Why use technology for Fire Safety?

    New technology like IoT can prove to be essential in preventing fire accidents in institutions such as hospitals. AI-based flame sensors can be put to use to detect any fire. With such tools, the fight against fire hazards would be strengthened. But how can Artificial Intelligence be put to mankind’s use? Let us look at this innovative idea that gives hope to our healthcare system.

A tech approach for much higher fire safety standards.

Today an urgent need for developing AI-based fire safety solutions has emerged. This also becomes essential as frontline workers are overburdened with cases, a solution without much manpower is needed. To tackle this, a range of ideas can be put up. One such project is IoT.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

    An Internet of Things (IoT) auto testing and feedback system can be created with the help of AI to prevent any fire hazards. An IoT tests all the fire safety equipment and then compares it to the desired parameters. If any equipment seems to have any variance, then it can instantly alert people via SMS, email, or push notification. Any prior data can also be used by AI to conduct a detailed analysis of the system. IoT can even integrate itself with electrical activator valves which help the pumps to start and stop on their own. Even the test cycles of fire safety equipment can be automated and configured. Each fire pump in IoT can be tested. Various important parameters like battery condition, flow can be recorded with the system. Stakeholders would receive regular reports about pumps.

We surely think that today is the time to bring in AI to save hospitals and lives from irresponsible fire accidents. Without safer surroundings, patients can not feel protected from the unseen enemy.


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