Guwahati, Tuesday, December 21, 2010
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Negligence main cause of infernos
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 20 – With the advent of the dry season, the fire services are gearing up to respond to an increasing number of calls, but at the same time believe that small steps taken by people can cut down fire threats to a considerable extent.

Several blazes which took place in Guwahati this year were due to human errors, and fire brigade personnel are of the view that many of those would not have occurred if simple measures were taken.

“In and around the city, many fire incidents took place just because people were careless with their stoves and gas cylinders…taking care with such inflammables always prevent fire,” a seasoned fire fighter told The Assam Tribune.

Fire fighters who risk their lives to combat flames insist that prudence at home and at the work place can reduce the threat of a fire. “At times we have identified cigarette butts as a cause of fire,” said a fireman who wished anonymity.

Loose and faulty electrical connections are other factors which have led to serious fire incidents. In Guwahati, many of the workplaces and residences have faulty wirings, which have caused fires in recent times.

But more worrying for the fire brigade is the haphazard lay out of power lines in congested areas. In areas like Fancy Bazar, Paltan Bazar, Maligaon and Pandu, haphazard electrical cables are a cause of concern for the fire services, as they can spark a major fire any time.

Sources in the fire services revealed that even as many new workplaces and business establishments have come up, the owners are yet to take an active interest in carrying out evacuations and rescue drills. Some shopping malls too have never held an evacuation exercise.

The Fire services are aware that in many schools and colleges situated in congested areas, students have not undergone a single fire drill, and in high rise buildings too occupants have not been acquainted with a planned away to leave the structure in case of a major fire.

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