The recent fire accidents has led to a sharp rise in the demand for fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher ball, smoke detector, fire-resistant doors and emergency exit signs.
Traders of fire safety equipment in the capital and elsewhere of the country said their sales have been steadily growing over the last one year, but the recent fire incidents in the capital caused a sharp rise in their sales.The horrific fire at the 22-storey FR Tower in Banani at Kamal Ataturk Avenue created panic among the people across the country, forcing many to install fire safety equipment at their homes, offices and industrial units.
There are some 40-50 shops in Nawabpur Road and adjacent areas that sell fire safety products. These fire protection instruments are mainly imported from China and distributed to resellers across the country.
Most of the shop owners said their sales have jumped after the fire at FR Tower in Banani.
Some traders are even having a hard time meeting the soaring demand. On the other hand, the customers are alleging that the traders have hiked the prices taking advantage of high demand for fire safety equipment.
Traders have urged the government to allow duty-free import of fire safety equipment as these are essential products for everyone.
Popular fire safety products include, among hundreds, fire extinguishers. The price of fire extinguishers is also reasonable—-starting from only Tk 450 to Tk 12,000 per unit.Besides, the rate of a fire ball is around Tk 1200, a 9-litre foam fire extinguisher is selling at Tk 1800 and the price of a gas mask is Tk 800. The price of a smoke detector is Tk 850 and smoke detector with emergency light sells at Tk 1200 per unit.
Md Wahid Uddin, owner of Olympia Fire Solution, told the daily sun their sales shot up after the fire at Banani. The demand for fire extinguishers weighing three to five kilogram and fire ball has increased the most, he said.
The buyers of the products are owners of small office, high rise building, home, shops and restaurants, Wahid Uddin said.
He said the demand for refilling the extinguishers also increased over the last few days. Many people bought their cylinders for refilling.
Wahid, also a former director of Fire Fighting Equipment Business Owners Association of Bangladesh (FEBOAB), told this correspondent: “I am not happy with the rising sale. Many people died in the fire at Banani—- I wish everyone was more aware of fire safety.”
He also said fire safety should not be taken lightly. It is a very critical aspect of keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. A fire can start anywhere at any time if the right precautions are not taken.
Anwar Hossain, manager of a fire safety equipment shop, told daily sun: “The demand is so high that the stock of small extinguisher has almost run out. Those who kept additional stock will sell at a higher price.”
Md Isharul Haque, the owner of Faruque Mill Store, said: “The fire extinguishers lay idle for years as the number of buyers was very few. So we did not import many.”
“No one expected such a devastating situation. Otherwise, many would have ordered for more fire extinguishers,” he added.
Earlier, Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) demanded duty-free import of fire-resistant doors, sprinkler system and equipment and emergency lights with exit signs to help make fire safety equipment more affordable for the people.