Ninety-eight percent of hospitals were built without mandatory fire-safety clearance and those are now posing a serious threat, said Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan.
He made the statement while addressing a view exchange titled "Upgradation of fire safety system in hospitals" today.
He said: "The recent fire incident at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital was actually a wake-up call. These type of establishments have been in operation for years without any fire safety system."
"None of the patients, their attendants or the hospital staffers have any clear idea about what to do during the emergency period. They don't have any training on how to escape the spot safely and moreover most the hospitals don't have narrow and faulty entrance and exit points," he added.
Mentioning that the Fire Service and Civil Defence authorities are regularly recommending basic fire safety facilities and installations in all type of establishments, he further said: "Hospital buildings should be made with basic fire safety facilities and installations include fire detection and alarm systems, extinguishers, hose reels with water connection, safe refuge assembly space, trained in-house fire fighting team, fire escape route, accessible road and reservoir with adequate water reserve."
"Fire drill should be conducted on a regular basis in all hospitals and public establishments. People must be able to escape from fire and smoke within a few minutes of starting a fire and a trained person can put out the blaze himself within 30 minutes without any help," he added.