Authorities will equip all slums and marketplaces in Dhaka North with hydrants to ease the impact of fires breaking out, said Mayor Atiqul Islam.
“The slums often catch fire. All settlements must have fire hydrants. Fire drills must also be carried out with people acting as volunteers in cases of fire,” Atiqul said at the inauguration of fire hydrants at the Mohakhali Sattola slum on Thursday.
The Sattola slum had lacked fire safety measures, he said, recalling his visit to the site after a blaze in June 2021.
Steps were being taken to train the residents of the slum in firefighting, Atiqul said.
WHAT IS A FIRE HYDRANT?
In simple terms, fire hydrants are specialised faucets located at different points on the streets that provide high-pressure water flow when valves are opened. They are directly connected to the water supply system of a city so firefighters can swiftly access water using nearby hydrants in case of fires.
“We haven’t been able to place fire hydrants across the whole slum. But it is a matter of great joy to be able to start doing it in the Korail slum. Later we will gradually introduce integrated community firefighting and water supply systems in all DNCC areas,” Atiqul said.
The hydrants at the Sattola slum will contain 60,000 litres of water -- 20,000 litres for use in households there and the rest of it for dousing fires. The quantity of water will be sufficient for 40 minutes of fire extinguishing efforts, he said.
“A cistern will contain water and there will be hoses. The hoses will be connected to pumps to spray water. A bell will be rung in case of fire and those who participated in drills will begin working as instructed. They will douse the flames while helping the residents evacuate to safety.”
As many as 17 people will be engaged in managing fire hydrants, Atiqul said.
The tin roofs of the slum heat up due to sunlight and the DNCC was working out a way to plant trees between the homes, he added.
Authorities also began setting up an integrated fire extinguishing system in Mohakhali Kacha Bazar and it will gradually be extended to other marketplaces in the capital, according to Atiqul.