PR No. 257 Islamabad

President Mamnoon Hussain has underlined the need for devising an effective strategy for disaster risk reduction and disaster management in fire related incidents to ensure safe living conditions for the people.

The President said this while addressing the Launching Ceremony of Fire Safety Provisions – 2016 of Building Code of Pakistan here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Monday. Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra was also present on the occasion.

The President said that natural and unforeseen disasters can occur anytime but with timely, safety measures and better enforcement, losses can be avoided or at least curtailed. The President highlighted that it is a recognized international best practice to have special arrangements to deal with all sorts of emergency situations including fire related accidents at all public places including commercial and industrial units and residential areas.

The President noted that fire safety arrangements in the country have been on the decline with the passage of time adding that in the past, due to absence of uniform nature of safety provisions, approach towards unforeseen disasters has been rather reactive than pro-active. Resultantly, in recent times there has been an increase in fire related accidents at offices, industrial units and buildings in which not only precious human lives have been lost but have caused huge financial losses, stated the President. The President appreciated that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) with cooperation of all other stakeholders have now developed a comprehensive legal framework which will certainly be useful in preventing and curtailing fire incidents.

President Mamnoon Hussain said that any law or code of conduct cannot be effective and applicable unless it is developed according to local conditions, environment and available facilities and noted with appreciation that local conditions have been taken care of in the new legislation which will hopefully guarantee its success.

The President said that it is a general observation that unforeseen accidents including fires generally occur at such places and buildings which are relatively old, congested and frequented by people. Furthermore, he added, the complex network of electricity and telephone wires in old historic parts of most cities of the country further endangers the situation.  Therefore, it is necessary that a strategy should also be devised to protect old buildings from such accidents, stressed the President.

The President said that it is a basic responsibility of the government to ensure protection of lives and property of the people. The President noted with appreciation that preparation of new fire safety provisions is a big achievement of the present government and hoped that their implementation will further safeguard our people and property. The President congratulated National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and all institutions and people who extended their intellectual and technical support in preparation of these provisions.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Science & Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain said that the new fire safety laws will be instrumental in protecting peoples’ lives and properties. Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj Gen Asghar Nawaz and Chairman Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Engr. Jawed Salim Qureshi also addressed the ceremony. On the occasion, President Mamnoon Hussain was also presented a copy of Building Code of Pakistan Fire Safety Provisions-2016. The President also gave away certificates of appreciation to Task Force Members of PEC for preparing fire safety provisions.