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Updated: March 11, 2013 12:54 IST

Cases of fire likely to rise as temperatures soar

Tanu Kulkarni
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Between March 1 and 10, at least 80 calls were received

A fire broke out in a garment showroom on Kammanahalli Main Road, which caused a loss of more than Rs. 70 lakh, on March 2. Fortunately, no life was lost nor was anybody injured. But, this was not the only fire incident in the city in the last few days.

The fire helpline has received calls for at least 80 incidents from March 1 to 10.

Statistics provided by the Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services reveal that the maximum number of fire cases is reported during summer — between February and April — when temperatures soar.

However, this year, in the first two months, the numbers of fire incidents in the city are less when compared to the past few years.

This year, only 172 cases of fire were reported in January and 179 cases were reported in February.

Officials from the Fire and Emergency Services Department point out that as summer season begins in March, the number of fire cases is likely to increase.

B.G. Changappa, Director of Department of Fire and Emergency Services, said that even small fires could propel and act as a contributory factor to the increase in incidence of fire cases.

Officials from the department point out that the lack of rain and poor collection of garbage is responsible for the increase in the cases of fire.

An official from the department said, “Over the past few days, we have been getting several calls from people who have reported cases fire, which is caused from uncleared garbage. As the temperatures are high in summer even a small cigarette bud is enough to spark fire from garbage.”

Apart from uncleared garbage, the dried grass could also be the cause of fire. Moreover, a large number of fire cases could be caused because of short circuit in commercial establishments.

“Some of the wires are old and the earthing could also be worn out. People do not check and replace them regularly so the old wires along with soaring temperatures could result in fire,” said N.U. Erappa, Chief Fire Officer of Bangalore West Zone.

The department has categorised fires as small, medium and serious.

The fire is classified as serious if the loss is above Rs. 5 lakh. If the loss is between Re. 1 and Rs. 5 lakh, the fire is considered as a medium one.

Meanwhile, most of the cases for which the department receives calls turn out to be small fires, where the damage to property and goods is less than Rs. 1 lakh.

Precautions needed

Officials from the department also point out that there is a need for citizens to take up precautions during summer to curtail the incidence of fire.

“People should ideally trim the grass in the summer to reduce fire. Apart from this, they need to be careful with the electrical equipment as even a minor instances can trigger a huge fire,” Mr Changappa said.

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