School ‘Hot Spots’ to Be Identified

School ‘Hot Spots’ to Be IdentifiedSchool ‘Hot Spots’ to Be Identified

Tehran’s Fire Stations and Safety Services Organization will inspect and identify “hazardous spots” in schools and adjacent environments, said its managing director Saeed Sharifzadeh.

Starting September, the inspection will last 40 days, he was quoted as saying by ISNA.

As the number of city trips and traffic congestion will increase at the beginning of the school year (starts September 23), the dispatch of fire forces to a probable site of mishap might have delays, he said, adding that in a bid to provide timely assistance, the organization has placed well-equipped motorcyclist forces at critical points in the city.  

“We will do our best to get to the scene in the shortest possible time,” Sharifzadeh said.

Fire extinguishers in educational environments will be refilled free of charge by the fire department, he said, adding that fire safety tips would be given to students and teachers in the coming academic year.

There have been instances of fire incidents in Iranian schools in the past.

On December 5, 2012 a fire in a primary school in Piranshahr, West Azarbaijan Province, caused the death of two students who suffered from severe burns, and left 26 children injured. Eight of the victims suffered 40 to 50% burns, putting them in a critical condition.

The explosion of a faulty kerosene heater in the classroom caused the fire. Local MPs called for the resignation of the then education minister under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But, that never happened.

The Education Ministry recently mandated that regular training of school personnel in fire safety measures should be organized. However, there are concerns that fire stations, assigned with the task, are not present in 93% of the rural areas.

School fires are not unique to Iran. Similar tragic events have occurred in several middle-income countries like India, Kenya and Russia over the last decade.