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Prices of fire safety equipment on rise

April 08, 2019 00:00:00

Owners and authorities of different institutions are putting emphasis on fire safety measures at buildings in the wake of two fatal fire incidents in the city, reports bdnews24.com.

The sales of fire-fighting equipment have soared following the blazes at Old Dhaka's Chawkbazar on February 20 and Banani's FR Tower on March 28, leaving at least 100 people dead.

The incidents have also spurred the authorities into action as different government bodies are conducting inspection drives at buildings in the city.

Traders have raised the prices of fire safety kits to capitalise on a recent upsurge in demand for the equipment.

Most of the garment factories, hospitals and big institutions have enough fire safety equipment, according to wholesale distributors and retailers of fire safety equipment in Nawabpur.

But some of the offices, storehouses, or high- rise residential buildings lack sufficient fire safety equipment, they added.

The authorities of such buildings account for the bulk of the recent purchases of fire equipment.

Fire extinguishers have the highest demand, said business owners. People are buying chemical powder, carbon dioxide gas and foam cylinders too, they added.

Also, oxygen masks, fire resistant clothing, water hose pipe, fireball extinguishers, buckets, fire alarms, smoke alarms, safety belts, goggles, helmets and stretchers are having higher sales, they said.

Building-owner Ashraful Islam said that he had the necessary fire-fighting system in place when he constructed his eight-storey building in Tejgaon. But all the equipment has fallen into disrepair after years of lying idly, he said. Now, he has to purchase replacements for them as authorities have begun to conduct safety drives.

Prices of the fire extinguishers range from Tk 1,200 to Tk 5,000, based on its quality and brand, said traders.

People are mostly buying the extinguishers which use chemical powder. A small extinguisher using chemical powder, which previously cost below Tk 1,000, is now sold at prices between Tk 1,200 and Tk 1,500, according to both buyers and sellers. Prices have increased for other equipment too, they said.

The price for fire safety equipment has been increased only at the retail level, said the wholesalers.

"Most people are not aware of the risk and therefore never installed fire safety equipment at high-rise buildings. Now they are coming to us after being pressurised by the authorities. Most of them are only buying extinguishers," said Md Liton Patwary, a sales manager at Shama International Limited.

The authorities of high-rise buildings and offices are mostly buying the equipment, he said.

The price has increased for a brief time due to the high demand but will come down soon, said Patwary.

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