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Fire fighters in Mumbai attending a blaze in the neighbourhood of Powai have received notices following failure to put on their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


A fire recently broke out at the Lake Homes Housing Society in the Indian district, injuring 28 people and resulting in seven deaths. One of the injured people was a fire fighter. The blaze had started in a 14th floor flat in the high-rise building.


As a team of 30 fire fighters attended the incident, 22 failed to wear their PPE and have since been issued with show cause notices. Protective equipment is mandatory in the city’s fire brigade, so it should have put on before attending the fire. The equipment includes trousers, jackets, gloves, shoes, t-shirts and helmets, and must be worn to take part in an operation.


The station officers were also given notices as part of the disciplinary procedures, as they had failed to enforce the rules regarding safety clothing. According to P Rahangdale, the chief fire office, fire fighters will receive new PPE, which will have minor changes.


A fire brigade source said that many in the service avoid wearing their protective clothing as it is restrictive and difficult to handle. The fireman who had been injured in the Powai incident suffered from smoke inhalation, which would have been prevented if wearing his proper PPE. An official report will be released by the Mumbai fire brigade shortly.


PPE is mandatory for those in many roles that involve working in a potentially unsafe environment or with hazardous chemicals.

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