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Electricity & Fire Safety

 

The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights.
Heating due to winter and lights due to the festive season.

Most electrical fires start in the bedroom, but the highest number of fatalities occur with fires located in the living room and kitchen

Today’s news almost as an omen informs us about the fire in Chembur, Mumbai started due to the electrical decorations on a Christmas tree.

Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.

We should be aware of fire and life safety and note  the common causes of electrical fires. Here are the 5 most common causes of electrical fires.

1. Faulty outlets, appliances

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances.
Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never
use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto
combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.
Running cords under rugs or over false ceiling /paneling is another cause of electrical
fires. Removing the grounding plug from a cord so it can be used in a two-prong
electrical outlet can also cause a fire. The reason appliances have the extra prong is so
they can be only used in outlets that can handle the extra amount of electricity that
these appliances draw.
2. Light fixtures
Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires.
Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a
leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb
wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.
Another cause of fire is placing materials like cloth or paper over a lampshade.

The material heats up and ignites, causing a fire. Faulty lamps and light fixtures
also frequently result in fires.

3. Extension cords
Misuse of extension cords is another electrical fire cause. Appliances should be plugged
directly into outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only
use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate
type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.
4. Space heaters
Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to
combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil
space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become
so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface.
If you do use space heaters, use the radiator-type that diffuse heat over the entire
surface of the appliance. These are less likely to ignite flammable items, but should still
be kept at a distance from curtains ,beds ,sofas.
5. Wiring
Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires.
If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the
increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home, such as
computers, wide-screen televisions, video and gaming players, microwaves and
air conditioners. The circuits get overloaded causing the system to overload and
start an electrical fire.
.Periodically Wiring should be checked and updated as per load of appliances added to
the home.
Through such articles, we aim to educate a non-fire service audience about fire
prevention and life safety

SAFE DIWALI – SAVE LIFE

Diwali is popularly known as Festival of Lights . As we all know, Light is not only a source of Energy but it also improves our visibility in darkness.

I do recall my childhood days in an interior rural area where electricity had not reached till the seventies. Diwali in those days was much more delightful ,enjoying the beauty and tranquility of a series of little lit lamps in front of every house in the village ; and lanterns made of Kraft paper or gelatin paper hanging in front of every home.

In the process of civilization,our economy is driven with a lot of industrial revolution resulting in migration of rural  folk to urban centres. The paradigm shift over a period of few decades is phenomenal. Majority of  India is now blessed with electricity , modern vertical housing , better transportation, sanitation, healthcare facilities, education and empowerment.

When I compare both the ends of the era in the absence of basic necessities of electricity and the industrial & urbanized India ,we are grossly encroaching the fine line of the balance between the absolutely unsafe & safe life of the human beings.

We are all excited  to welcome the happy Diwali 2018. This excitement  sometimes makes me nervous when I hear the news of increasing pollution levels in civilized ,rapidly modernizing urbanized India; of which the National Capital New Delhi is itself a glaring example.

Adding to this health hazard ,every Diwali we experience a number of Fire incidents in the Fire-cracker markets

Then there are lakhs of burn injury & eye injury cases being reported for which systematic data mapping is not maintained.

When I sit back & think about Fire Safe Diwali, many  Do’s & Don’ts come to mind which I feel majority of us know. We as a Fire fraternity can really focus and educate the masses through electronic and print media in their respective jurisdictions or regions.

Some of the Do’s & Don’ts are enumerated below :

  • Lighting of Crackers should be done in an open space and Not close to a building or anything flammable.
  • Monitor Children who are playing with Firecrackers.
  • Ensure Electrical Cables used for lighting lamps ,decorations are not left loose or open. This could shortcircuit and start a fire.
  • Dias and Lamps with open flame should not be placed near anything flammable like curtains
  • In case clothes catch fire,do not panic ,drop and roll on the ground.
  • For Burn injury, Immediately pour clean cold water to the affected part of the body.

To conclude,to keep our environment clean & safeguard our citizens ,a cohesive effort of the Fire proffesionals would definitely help in contributing to help in making this Diwali not only the most joyous but also safe.

With this thoughts , I take this opportunity to wish one and all

“A HAPPY & SAFE DIWALI 2018”

Fire Service Games

The first ever National Fire Games were held at Nagpur Fire Services College in February this year. The hidden sports talent and potential of Indian Fire Fighters not only surfaced but set the sports cultural path in the Indian Fire Services. A total of 1242 participants from 24 states and 40 public sector undertakings participated in this three day event.

 

After Nagpur Games , another such event was held in Mumbai under the flagship of Mumbai Fire Brigade “ Fire Combat 360 “ The real icing on the cake was the participation of an Indian Fire Service contingent in the World Fire Service Games held in South Korea.

 

Mr.Subhash Kumar and Mr. Pranvendra Rao have proved themselves as trailblazers to drive the movement and bring great pride to the Nation on the global platform.

 

I extend Heartfelt Congratulations to all participants and particularly the winners for keeping the Indian Tricolour furled high.

This movement in the long term will help in maintain better physical standards , performance endurance and healthy retired life for most of the Fire Service personnel of generation ahead.

 

I must confess and admit that our generation has ignored this facet of fitness and endurance . The reason could be work toxicity, lack of Sport culture with the result that many of us are struggling with issues of Cardiology, diabetes and obesity.

 

I personally think that inculcating Sports culture in Indian Fire Services will pay rich dividends to the generation ahead.