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Campaigns played key role in containing fire accidents

17th November 2015

- The Hindu

Planning, campaigns played key role in containing fire accidents: DFO

Madurai region received 33 fire calls on Deepavali day

In eight districts of the region, the fire and rescue services officers received 33 calls on Deepavali day, said District Fire Officer (Madurai region) R. Saravanakumar here on Wednesday.

Describing the nature of calls as ‘small and nothing major,’ the officer said that in Madurai city alone six fire calls were received on the festival day. Close to 20 persons were injured while bursting crackers and the fire was more due to crackers falling on hutments.

The fire and rescue services department personnel had planned the strategy in such a way that standby fire tenders (other than those in the fire station) were located at vantage points. “The idea was to minimise the response time.”

“On receipt of a call, the vehicles were moved quickly so that the fire was put out instantly and prevented from spreading further,” Mr. Saravanakumar said. The tenders were stationed at Simmakkal and Vilakuthoon areas of Madurai city.

Unlike last year’s Deepavali, when it was rainy, this time, the weather was sunny in most parts of Madurai region. Attributing better planning and sustained awareness campaigns as reasons for the low rate of fire calls, the DFO said that there was no major fire reported due to bursting of crackers on Deepavali day.

Right from interacting with students and general public, the fire officers displayed safe methods and modes to burst crackers. The coordination with many educational institutions and other agencies paved way for dissemination of safe practices.

In fact, for the first time, over 150 outlets, which sold crackers, issued pamphlets to their customers on how to burst crackers safely.

The education in handling of crackers helped the people in handling many innovative varieties with low decibel levels introduced by fireworks units of Sivakasi. For instance, a variety called “rocket launchers” opened up in the sky with different colours, but had to be lit up in open grounds only, officers said.

Yet another factor for low fire calls was that the day was not windy. Many open spaces and huts remained wet till noon.

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