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Mumbai: 70% of fires in city due to electrical issues, says official

In light of the fire at Railview building in New Tilak Nagar, in which six residents were injured, Chief Fire Officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, Hemant Parab, on Tuesday said about 70 per cent of all fires that have broken out in Mumbai between 2019 and 2022 have electrical origins.

According to primary investigations by the Fire Brigade, the fire at Railview building also had electric origins, and likely broke out as electric cables in a duct between the third and fifth floor of the building were chopped, and the wiring exposed.

Parab was speaking at ‘Social Sanchar’, an interactive event with citizens about fire safety in Mumbai, organised by V Citizens’ Action Network in South Mumbai.

According to the Fire Brigade’s data presented by the CFO, in 2022, a total of 2,902 fires were reported in the city, of which 1,996 or 69 per cent had electrical origins and 906 had other origins. In 2021, 4,121 fires were reported, of which 2,863 or 70 per cent had electrical origins, whereas 1,228 had other origins.

Parab said, “We have witnessed serious fires specifically in high-rise buildings across the city and suburbs. Recent incidents of fires in high-rise buildings have caused loss of property and life too. The supposed cause of the fires was also electric origin.”

Parab said the Fire Brigade has been planning preventive measures, creating awareness and educating residents to reduce loss of life and property during fires, and to try and resolve fires before they grow intense.

“While stop call is the basic smallest level of fire call, Brigade call is the highest. Between these two grades, there are four levels. Our aim is to try and restrict all fires at the stop call itself. This means quicker response from the Fire Brigade, more awareness among public, and fire safety and precaution in all buildings,” he said.

There are common signs indicating electrical fire risks, such as bulbs burning out, fuse blowing, lights flickering or dimming, lights going out, or appliances operating slowly, which should be watched out for, he said.

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