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“Safety precautions vital”

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Safety First: Children demonstrate how used fireworks must be extinguished in buckets containing sand or water. —
Safety First: Children demonstrate how used fireworks must be extinguished in buckets containing sand or water. —

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Director of Fire and Rescue Services K.R. Shyam Sundar said that steps were being taken to bring down the response time to fire from seven minutes.

Addressing presspersons recently, he urged the public to free the way when fire vehicles rushed to the spot.

He said that the number of fire accidents in the State had come down from an average of 87 a day in 2007 to 82 a day in 2008 (till August).

In 2007, in all 31,611 fire and rescue calls, property worth Rs.195.7 crore and 7,255 lives were saved.

Mr. Shyam Sundar said that the department had written to the State government urging it to revise reclassification of damage caused by fire.

Based on all-India standards, it had suggested that damage less than Rs.20,000 be classified as small fire instead of the present Rs.10,000. Medium fire as above Rs.20,000 to Rs.75,000 as against Rs.10,000 to Rs.50,000 at the present and Rs.75,000 and above as major fire. Listing out safety precautions to be followed during Deepavali, he said that additional vehicles would be deployed in fire-prone areas. He also urged adults to supervise children while bursting crackers.

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