The gradual rise in mercury levels is not only keeping denizens on the edge but is also proving to be a nightmare for the firemen. The city witnessed a series of fire accidents for the past few days owing to the increasing day temperatures.

Though, casualties were not reported, property worth over Rs.1 crore was gutted in the eight incidents that took place since the onset of summer. For the past one week, the fire control room has been receiving at least a dozen distress calls each day as against the average of five to seven calls in other seasons.

Officials explained that during summer the number of fire accidents were usually more. Electrical appliances such as air conditioners, coolers, fans and refrigerators will be pressed into use extensively for longer periods to escape the scorching heat. This leads to overloading of wiring and, coupled with rising mercury levels, initiate sparks which quickly turn into major blaze, according to North Zone Assistant District Fire Officer K. Vijay Kumar.

In a recent incident, a house at Janakhinagar Colony in Tolichowki caught fire due to overloading of electrical wiring. The family had gone for shopping when flames engulfed the house and damaged household articles and other valuables worth over Rs.7 lakh. By the time family reached home, the blaze intensified damaging the valuables in the vicinity, fire-fighters said.

Sub-standard appliances

Officials also pointed out many residents increase the load by using additional air-coolers, air-conditioners in summer without assessing the capacity of the wiring and keep them switched-on continuously resulting in overloading of wires. Another reason contributing the increasing incidents was use of sub-standard quality appliances, illegal cable tapping, improper electrical wiring in residential and commercial complexes and carelessness on the part of building owners.

For industries, it is combination of external and internal heat. Lack of proper ventilation or cooling facilities can lead to major fire accidents, officials added.

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