Mumbai is the most dangerous city in the country as far as fires caused by short-circuits go. From 2009 to 2013, 285 short-circuit-caused fires occurred in Maharashtra’s capital city, compared to 196 in Delhi, which is second on a list released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) a little over a month ago.
In annual data, too, Mumbai is top on the list, the maximum incidents, 76, occurring in 2013, followed by 63 in 2010 and 55 in 2011. The corresponding figures for Delhi are 42, 41 and 31.
Fire brigade and police officers say short-circuit is mainly caused by the use of electrical equipment of poor quality. They say that despite safe-practice campaigns on TV and in newspapers, most people ignore instructions. “Most short-circuit-caused fires begin in air-conditioners or power mains. Even if people buy quality equipment, they don’t maintain them, leading to deterioration in the quality of wire coverings. Overloading of lines is another cause,” said a fire officer.
Mumbai also tops the list of deaths caused by the incidents. While the total for the period in reference is 276—almost one death per incident — the total for 2013 is 76 — the maximum for the period—followed by 55 in both 2011 and 2010, and 47 in 2012.
In state-wise data, Maharashtra is third on the list of incidents, with 1,075 in the period, preceded by Gujarat with 1,314 and Andhra Pradesh with 1,489. In deaths too, the state is third (854), preceded by Gujarat (1,321) and AP (1,555).