Spike in fire incidents due to rise in mercury in Jammu region

The rise in mercury has led to the spike in major fire incidents in Jammu region. The onset of summer usually increases the power consumption thus many buildings have faulty wires which then become vulnerable to overheating and short-circuits.

Some of the fire incidents in commercial units occur due to the electrical malfunction while others because the industrial units don't have proper fire equipment for safety. Besides, inflammable chemicals or materials stored in some factories without proper precautions also lead to major fire incidents.

In remote areas, common reason for fire is when the stubble catches the fire owing to heat waves or loo.

The fire incidents in Jammu region are keeping the Fire and Emergency Department on their toes. The department receives almost 12-15 complaints per day from different parts of Jammu region.

Sunil Bhat, an employee in the fire and emergency services department, Jammu, said that there are around 12 fire stations in Jammu district including one fire-post.

In total, there are around 176 fire stations in Jammu and Kashmir with 278 fire tenders available ready for services.

In the Jammu headquarters; there are around 19 fire tenders to ensure no damage is caused in the city due to fire.

The department Fire and Emergency Department caters to a larger domain which deals with fire incidents, saving animal lives or human lives in emergency cases. The motto of the Services is "We serve to save".

Despite sincere motives, the department cannot function properly due to the crunch in manpower and equipments. The department has only 1/2 of the total fire-fighters required to cater to the whole of state.

Raj Kumar Raina, Assistant Director Fire & Emergency Services, J&K told that there are around 4 fire stations in Samba and Kathua regions with 11 fire tenders. Besides, there are 3 fire-tenders specially kept for Bari Brahmana industrial area.

He said, "The fire incidents mostly occur in far-off areas like Marh, Ramgarh, Khod, Nagrota, Pragwal etc. due to stubble for which the department takes help of different stations."

Jammu Links News talked to V. K. Singh, Director General, Fire & Emergency Services J&K regarding the crunch in manpower and equipment in the department. He said that the process of recruiting 800 new personnel is still in process since 2013 while some of the candidates for the posts of stenographers and junior assistants have been recruited.The bulk of firemen will be inducted when the process will be over in the court.

He added that the fire tenders are mobilized by the department as soon as the complaint is received by the authorities.

He said that a little precaution is needed from the establishments or even people's ends as the onus is on the commercial units for safety. The commercial units must adhere to the norms and guidelines set by the government under its National Building Code of India (Fire and Life Safety), which is a pre-requisite for all structures.

In case of emergency, the general public can dial 101 or 0191-2457705


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Hardeep Bali