While stepping out to burst firecrackers during Diwali, ensure that the doors are closed and clothes are not drying on the clothesline. These are the two most common ways residential apartments caught fire in 121 fire incidents in four years. An analysis show that most of the fire incidents occur because of aerial firecrackers.
As per statistic in 2009, 26 fire incidents occurred due to fire crackers. In 2010, there were 3 incidents but in 2011 the number increased to 37. As many as, 55 fire incidents occurred in 2012.
Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) fire brigade, which is in charge of the city and fringe areas, with a manpower of 485 fire-fighters, has cancelled weekly-off’s for the employees during Diwali.
Prashant Ranpise, chief fire-officer said that most of the fire incidents occur during Laxmi Pujan and Gudi Padva. “Most of them occur due to bursting of aerial crackers. Such crackers are more hazardous as they may move in any direction and can travel some distance,” he says.
Ranpise said, “Fire-crackers can set accumulated waste or dry leaves on fire. Even oil lamps and candles lit to decorate houses can cause fire, if left unattended. Last year, many incidents occurred as curtains or clothes for drying caught fire when crackers entered people’s balcony.”
Shalini Gupta, a resident of Sunshree society in NIBM road, accident victim, “My daughter was bursting crackers in the balcony. And, one of them entered the drawing room and fell on the sofa, which caught fire. We immediately poured water and switched off the power supply and called the fire department.”
Aleen Davis, student, said, “Last Diwali, a rocket landed in my house. The curtains and some clothes caught fire.”
Precautions while bursting crackers
Burst crackers in open spaces and keeping a safe distance
Use glass bottles while bursting aerial crackers
Avoid bursting crackers during day time as people are not aware of it
Do not wear heavy dresses
Ensure fire extinguishers are in working condition
Do not pile crackers near fire
Staircase and refuge area should be kept free to escape while in emergency
Do not over-load electric socket, just in order to have a brighter Diwali
Approaching roads should be kept free for passage of fire-brigade vehicles
Don’t use powder or ghee or any other home remedies on burnt body surface, this increases chance of infection
Never allow children to light fire-crackers
Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings. If the firecrackers are unlabelled, do not light it.
Buy crackers from reputed dealers
Before lighting fire-crackers, be sure that people are out of range of the devices
An errant aerial fire-work can travel as much as 150 feet
Never point or throw fireworks at another person
Emergency numbers for Pune
Fire Brigade’s toll free helpline: 101
Fire bridge headquarters: 26451707
Sinhagad Road: 24345152Kothrud: 25390002
Surya Hospital: 24578950
Pune Station: 26059230