Hyderabad: Carelessly discarded non-extinguished cigarette stubs and burning of dry leaves caused 1,276 fire accidents in Greater Hyderabad, the highest recorded in the state in the last 10 months up to October 2018. Telangana altogether recorded 7,325 fire accidents in 2018, with careless smoking being the number one cause, followed by household fires and fires in shops and offices.
A recent fire in Indira Park was caused by accumulated garbage/dry leaves being ignited by a carelessly thrown cigarette stub. Regional fire officer V. Papaiah told this newspaper that with more leaves falling from trees in December, the chances of such fires will be greater.
“Two main reasons for this type of fire accident is garbage not being properly treated by the garbage disposal team, and reckless smoking in public spaces and throwing away the lighted cigarette butt.” He said, “Out of the 10 calls we get, five will be about fire accidents due to careless smoking, and this is throughout Telangana.”
Ch Pragathi, a fire safety expert, recommends that “all citizens should be trained to operate fire control equipment. Factories, Industries, shops hospitals, godowns, malls and others buy fire control equipment, but they are unaware of how to use it. They should be taught practically how to deal with untoward incidents. All emergency team members of every factory should be well trained. In abroad, every citizen is able to operate and use a fire extinguisher. Here, an expired fire extinguisher will not even be replaced in a factory.”