Updated: Aug 22, 2021
ADSI report says there were 11037 fire accidents in India alone in 2019. So, as we speak, chances are there is firefighting going on somewhere right now. Almost every industry had to bear the burnt at some point. Coupang, an eCommerce company, reported a 518.6-million-dollar loss recently after one of their fulfillment centers caught fire. With rising cases of fire accidents, it’s crucial to assess - do we have proper safety management systems?
What is a safety management system?
It is a systematic approach taken up by the business to reduce risk. It includes the policies, procedures, and safety plans.
Existing safety management system to handle fire accidents
Most of the industries invest in fire alarm systems. File alarm systems can work in below three ways.
Smoke detector - Triggered on sensing excessive smoke.
Heat detector - Triggered on sensing extreme heat.
Manual - Need human intervention.
Many companies conduct safety drills to train the staff about safety procedures. But hospitality sectors or emergency operations like hospitals cannot have such mock drills.
What are the issues with existing fire alarm systems?
Delay in detection - In the case of slow flame, smoke detectors may not work. By the time fire gets detected, it can be too late. Sometimes the smoke reaches the sensor late, especially if it’s in an open space. So when finally the alarm rings, the fire would have already spread enough.
False alarms - Often false alarm gets triggered in existing fire alarms. So, in cases of an actual emergency, people do not react immediately. Instead, they wait for a confirmation, thinking it could be a false or test alarm.
Equipment issues - There can be many technical issues, like disconnected wires, battery failures, or device failures. The equipment needs regular maintenance.
How can video analytics upgrade existing systems?
Video monitoring is an advanced way to detect fire. A camera can continuously monitor the area, and an alarm can go on whenever it detects a fire. This system has the upper hand over existing systems for the below reasons-
It gives an option to integrate with CCTV systems.
No false alarms - Video monitoring is more accurate than smoke or fire detector. It will bring more credibility to systems, and people will react on time.
Fast detection - Video detection is way quicker than smoke detection. Time means safety in case of fire.
Suitable for harsh environments - In factories with heavy machinery or flammable substance, continuous monitoring is non-negotiable. Video systems can constantly monitor the heavy-risk machines/areas.
Works good with high heights spaces - Buildings with the ceiling at high heights like airports or aircraft hangers will be at huge risk by traditional smoke detectors. By the time smoke reaches the ceiling, the fire could turn into a catastrophe. Video monitoring systems can detect fire even from a good height, reducing the response time.
Fire is an unexpected blow to the business, can delay operations, kill goodwill, and halt work for months. It is a loss of money and lives(which cannot be quantized). So investing in suitable systems is vital for risk cover. Advances in AI systems are promising, and as more industries adapt to these, we can expect a dip in shocking fire accident stats.