A total of 185 people were killed and 586 others injured, while property worth over Taka 330 crore got damaged in incidents of fire in the country in 2019.
The Electronics Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) informed this today at a press conference at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka this morning.
The ESSAB arranged the press conference to brief the media about different aspects of the International Fire Safety and Security Expo (IFSSE)-2020 that will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on February 13-15.
"According to the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, a total of 24,074 incidents of fire took place across the country last year," ESSAB President Motaher Hoshan Khan said in his written statement at the press conference.
He said 185 people were killed and 586 others injured, while property worth Taka 330 crore 41 lakh 28 thousand and 744 was damaged in the fire during the period.
"It's a huge human and economic loss," Motaher added.
The ESSAB president said they are going to host the 7th edition of the International Fire Safety and Security Expo (IFSSE) to create social awareness about the fire safety in the country.
"We think that though the fire safety system has been ensured in the garment industry due to pressure of the buyers, it's necessary to make the industry's fire safety management more efficient," he said.
Motaher said it is a demand of the time to further strengthen the fire safety system everywhere from mills and factories to high rise buildings.
The ESSAB president said though the work on turning Sylhet and Chattogram into "smart cities" is underway, the same programme is yet to be taken in the over-populous Dhaka city which is experiencing frequent incidents of fire.
"So, it's very much necessary to further strengthen the fire safety system everywhere, including the capital for building a safe and livable country for the people," he said.
About the different aspects of the three-day fair, Motaher said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will attend the opening ceremony of the expo as the chief guest, while Director General of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Brigadier General Md Sajjad Hossain, FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim and BGMEA President Dr Rubana Haque will be present as the special guests.
He said there will be a total of 75 stalls in the expo where fire safety and security equipment of different brands from 25 countries will be put on display.
Motaher said on the inaugural day of the fair, a special fire drill will be staged by the Fire Service and Civil Defence.
On the second day of the expo, he said, "ESSAB Safety Excellence Awards-2020" will be given to nine organisations in three categories — commercial, industry and residential.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal will be present at the function as the chief guest, while Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Brigadier General Md Sajjad Hossain and RAB Director General Benzir Ahmed will be present as the special guests.
The ESSAB president said four special seminars and a special roundtable discussion will be organised during the exposition.
Motaher further informed that in the last year's expo, over 8,000 people visited the fair. "In its continuation, we expect that more than 10,000 people will visit the expo this year," he said.
The ESSAB president said the people can visit the expo without any fee, but they will have to register their names. "Through the fair, we're making efforts to build social awareness about fire safety and it will continue in future," he said.
Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence Brigadier General Md Sajjad Hossain, ESSAB Secretary General Mohammad Mahmud, Convener of IFSSE -2020 Zakir Uddin Ahmed and Co-Convener Mamud-e- Khoda were present at the press conference.