Cry wolf factor numbs reflexes

Cry wolf factor numbs reflexes

Employees used to false fire alarm, ignore real one

Irshad Ahmed, associate director of the company, recalled that every time a person smoked at the fire exit staircase, the alarm used to ring. “Like any other day, the fire alarm went off which was ignored as usual. Until an employee came running across the passage, we had no idea what had happened in the building,” he said.

Rarely do people remain calm during such life-threatening situations, but Irshad Ahmed’s right decisions saved nine lives from the seventh floor of the building. “When I opened the door of my office, I could see thick smoke leading to virtual darkness. I immediately closed the door and asked all my employees to gather inside the conference room and locked it from inside. We filled the edges of the door with tissue paper so that smoke does not enter the room and waited for nearly one hour 20 minutes for the first fire engine to arrive,” said Irshad.

Though the building had all the fire safety facilities, some of the basic requirements were missing. Irshad said that according to National Building Codes, the electric shafts must be sealed at every level of the building to prevent the fire from spreading to other floors. But at Carlton Towers, the shafts were not sealed and the smoke spread to all the floors. Out of the 14 employees working at Equis, 13 were rescued by firemen. Only Benzi  Kumar took the tragic leap.

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