Library and fire safety

A FEW days ago I, with my sister, visited the Quaid-i-Azam Library in Lahore. I was really impressed and fascinated by the peaceful environment and huge collection of books.

On the other hand, I was disappointed to find inadequate safety measures to cope with any emergency. Owing to recent experiences of destruction caused by fire in Karachi and Lahore I looked for fire extinguishers in the library. I was stunned to see they had expired three years back, the expiry date being Oct 15, 2009. If a fire erupts in the library, it can engulf all the valuable books present there and any struggle to cope with it would be in vain.

Second, there were only two exits, one of which was closed, while the other one was insufficient in case of a fire accident. This important building has become a hub of CSS aspirants, as well as of research students.

The authorities concerned should pay attention to the points mentioned above to save our prestigious heritage of books and, above all, the lives of library goers.

AYESHA ASIF         Lahore

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Comments (2) Closed

Oct 27, 2012 01:17pm
I am always impressed by the letters that speak volumes about the Civil Society and its concerns in Pakistan. The contrast with the letters that appear in the National newspapers of a neighboring country is remarkable; most letters are about individual mundane concerns and precious little about the society at large. The Letters are an integral part of the experience when reading Dawn.
Sara Ahmed
Oct 28, 2012 03:43pm
I appreciate that Ayesha Asif had the awareness of health and safety by looking to see if there were adequate measures for coping with a fire. There should be Health and Safety laws in Pakistan. Fire exits should be clearly marked. Fire extinguishers must not be expired. Regular fire drills should take place to ensure both public and staff know the procedures for what to do in an emergency. I was upset to read that one of the exits was closed. What would have happened in an emergency? In the rush of terrified people, would one exit have been enough?