SRINAGAR: The onset of winter in Kashmir has seen a surge in fire incidents in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, with a total of 53 reported cases in November 2023.
According to official data from the Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) department, obtained by the news agency KNO, 53 fire incidents occurred across Srinagar last month.
The highest number of incidents was recorded on November 21, with five reported cases at Gojwara Chowk, SKIMS Soura, Polo View, Bakshipora Palpora, and Wazir Bagh.
Traditionally, the number of fire incidents tends to rise during the winter period in Kashmir.
However, officials noted a decline in incidents compared to previous years, attributing it to awareness events and programs organised by the department to educate the public about safety measures.
Deputy Director F&ES Commandant Srinagar, Aqib Ahmad Mir, emphasised that while the department maintains equal preparedness during both summer and winter, vigilance is heightened in the winter months due to frequent fire incidents. He stressed the importance of public cooperation in reducing fire incidents, especially involving the judicious use of heating gadgets such as Bukharis and heaters.
“The general public has an immense role in this regard, and taking safety measures should be their top priority,” he added.
Regarding the department’s efforts to mitigate fire incidents, Mir mentioned that F&ES has conducted numerous awareness events and programs across Jammu and Kashmir. This initiative has contributed to a 20-30% reduction in incidents compared to previous years, with 1900 cases reported until October this year, as opposed to the previous figure of 2900 incidents in a single year.
He underscored the importance of public awareness in controlling fires at the initial stage and recommended keeping a small fire extinguisher at home, costing approximately Rs 2000, to avert major tragedies. (KNO)