Over 600 Fires in 4 Months, but Public Participation in Mock Drills Less Than 10%

At least 600 fire incidents have been reported in Gautam Buddha Nagar in just four months, but the general uptake of awareness campaigns and mock drills in residential communities across Noida and Greater Noida has been unfortunate, officials said. They said the Fire Services Department has organized more than 100 campaigns in these areas to educate people about safety equipment and preventive measures, but attendance “wasn’t even 10 percent” of the total population.

They lamented that private security personnel, too, “didn’t know much about fire safety” in many communities. In 2022, 626 fire incidents were reported in Gautam Buddh Nagar from January until the end of April. According to official data, 1,372 fires were recorded in 2021, 1,246 in 2020, 1,729 in 2019, and 2017 the previous year.

Most fire incidents were reported in April and May. Most of them are related to electrical issues in homes or commercial spaces, while remains burning, farm fires, bush and dry leaf fires, etc. also contribute to the bulk of the accidents,” Chief Fire Officer Arun Kumar Singh told PTI. Singh, the Courage Award-winning officer, said the fire service conducted more than 200 awareness campaigns and mock exercises last year across residential communities, sectors, and industrial and commercial districts in the area.

He said more than 100 such campaigns and exercises have been carried out this year through May, with increased focus on preventive measures in the wake of a deadly fire in Delhi’s neighboring Mundka district that killed at least 27 people. However, an official involved in outreach campaigns told PTI, “Fire service officials have gone to dozens of high-rise communities in Noida and Greater Noida after being duly informed of the date and time of arrival, but population participation has been very low. Even 10 percent of residents do not come for a procedure Mock exercises. “In many communities, private security guards are sent to join mock drills, which is fine but there have been several cases even these guards are clueless about the use of safety equipment,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

CFO Singh urged people to join the ongoing mock drills, “People can learn how to use fire extinguishers installed in residential communities in order to be prepared for any emergency, should it arise. They can also learn preventive measures and other tips on how to respond to an emergency in the event of an emergency. outbreak of fire.” Singh noted that the fires were caused by “irresponsible” behavior and stressed ensuring preventive measures were taken to prevent such incidents. Some of the notable issues that lead to a fire are electrical related. Hence, one should check their home’s electrical wiring and sockets for efficiency and durability, he said, adding that gas cylinder handles should be turned off when not in use. People should keep stairs clear of the emergency exit. Quite often, it is seen that people keep flower pots or courses, other unused appliances, etc. on the stairs which become an obstacle during evacuations. He noted that some communities have balcony doors locked, which is also a hindrance during emergencies.

Singh said his department will soon launch a survey to identify fire-prone areas in Noida and Greater Noida in order to specifically focus on awareness campaigns in such locations. He said that there is no digital database for these sites at the moment and efforts are underway to create one soon.

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