Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh delivered a message to the nation on the occasion of Fire Services Day. The text of the message is as follows:-
“Every year on 14th April, we observe the ‘Fire Service Day’. On this day, in 1944 a devastating fire on SS Fort Stikiné ship in Mumbai Dock caused a powerful explosion which resulted in huge loss of life and property. In memory of this accident since 1955 the ‘Fire Prevention Week’ has been conducted and from 1968 onwards 14th April has been observed as ‘Fire Service Day’ as per a decision taken by the Government of India. On this day, we remember the great sacrifices of those Firemen who achieved martyrdom. On this occasion, I, on behalf of my country, express my gratitude to those Firemen who took grave risks to minimize the losses of men and material due to the accidents caused by fire.
Most of the devastating accidents, invariably show that minor negligence were the cause of these debilitating accidents. The past fire accidents reveal that if appropriate preventive measures were taken, these devastating accidents could be averted.
The Government of India under its 12th Five Year Plan proposes to establish new fire stations at the sub-district levels too. Efforts are also being made to minimise the response time of the Firemen to accidents spots. For this, efforts are being made to get the latest fire fighting equipments, build on the infrastructure and increase the number of Fire Stations.
Recently, the devastating fire accident at Puttingal Devi Temple in Kerala took the lives of more than 100 pilgrims and property worth crores got destroyed. This has impacted our mind and heart immensely.
Hence, I appeal to all of you to be aware about the finer aspects of fire hazards to minimise the occurrence of fire accidents. I also appeal to all in the Industrial Sector and different institutions to be conscious to ensure fire safe working environment for their employees. Hence, it is necessary that all fire safety norms be determined in advance.
Finally, I call upon my fellow countrymen to make the Fire Service Department theme for this year ‘Prevent Fire Accidents-promote Nation’s Development’ a grand success”.