Fewer and less-intense fire calls this DiwaliUpdated: Oct 28, 2019, 19:43 IST
This Diwali, the number of fire incidents dipped by nearly 10% in comparison to last year. The fires were also less intense, the Delhi Fire Services said on Monday.
The fire department received 245 calls during a 24-hour period in the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, said Atul Garg, chief fire officer (DFS). Last year, the corresponding figure stood at 271 -- one of the fires in north Delhi’s Sadar Bazar had killed two minor siblings.
“No casualties were reported in the fire incidents this Diwali. Also, there were no major incidents that required more than four fire tenders or needed several hours of operation,” Garg said.
Of the 245 fire incidents in a 24-hour period on Diwali, nearly 60% (149) were reported between 6 pm and midnight – a time frame the fire department considers the peak period on Diwali.
Garg said while there was no break-up of the triggers for the blazes, there were fewer fires due to fire crackers. “In previous years, a lot of fires would be started by rockets entering houses or by other crackers,” said Garg. This year, most of the blazes were in “open spaces” rather than inside houses, he said.
Garg said the biggest fires were reported from a sanitary ware manufacturing unit in east Delhi’s Jagatpuri and a toy godown in Old Delhi’s Teliwara. “Both fires happened in the daytime on Sunday. Firecrackers were not a reason for these blazes,” said Garg.
While Garg credited fewer fireworks for the reduction in the number and intensity of the blazes, he said the fire department’s preparedness also played a part.
“This year, we had nearly 2,000 fire fighters ready to handle blazes. The recent induction of 500 newly trained fire fighters helped. We had 60 new fire tenders with us because of which we could deploy more than 200 such vehicles on the streets,” Garg said.
He said the fire department’s control room was also better equipped to take calls as 25 new employees had been recently hired on contract.
Garg said while his men reported a noticeable difference in the nature of blazes and the triggers this year compared to last year, a 10% reduction was not substantial.
“Only twice in the last 13 years, have we seen more fire calls on Diwali,” said Garg. One of those occasions was last year (271 calls) and the other was in 2015 when there were 290 such calls.