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Updated: May 8, 2013 01:08 IST

Don’t play with fire!

Staff Reporter
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A staggering 1,327 fire accidents took place in the city last year damaging property worth over Rs. 80 crore

While the city is expanding at a rapid pace becoming one of the most-sought after destinations in the country, it seems to be getting more vulnerable to fire accidents if the rise in fire accidents in the capital is any indication.

A staggering 1,327 fire accidents took place in the city last year damaging property worth over Rs.80 crore. Though fire-fighters managed to save property worth over Rs.177 crore, the worrisome aspect is the increase in number of causalities. Firemen saved the lives of 18 people, while six persons lost their lives in 1,327 fire mishaps, officials said

A close study of these incidents revealed that residential complexes were more prone for fire mishaps when compared to other establishments. Officials said fire broke out in as many as 311 houses in 2012 as against 284 in 2011. Shops and offices stood second in the list with over 222 mishaps in the year 2012 and 233 in 2011.

They said the causes for these mishaps vary from electrical short-circuit to gas leakage, to careless disposal of cigarette buds. Of the 1,327 incidents recorded last year, 553 were caused due to electrical short-circuit and 461 because of careless smoking. Authorities explained that majority of the incidents were reported in last summer as the increased demand for power consumption results in load fluctuations. More than 633 fire accidents happened during March, April and May last year.

Senior officials attributed this to negligent attitude of consumers while using power. Consumers use electrical appliances such air-coolers, air-conditioners, fans and refrigerators extensively without assessing the actual load bearing capacity of the wiring. This eventually triggers fire and even before the occupants can react, it would turn into a major blaze and damage valuables, they maintained.

They also said that the main reason for rising fire accidents was negligent attitude of the people who were staying in the buildings constructed in violation of the norms prescribed by the National Building Code. When contacted, Regional Fire Officer G.V. Narayana Rao said the department was trying to improve its efficiency to ensure safety of the people.

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