NEWS

Fire Safety A Must During Diwali, Says Minister And NFA

Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar said with Diwali taking place this weekend, people must to be careful not to lose their homes to fires.
13 Nov 2020 10:54
Fire Safety A Must During Diwali, Says Minister And NFA

Thirty-three homes destroyed, 162 people displaced and damage amounting to $2.3 million were incurred in just the past two months, as a result of fires.

Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar said with Diwali taking place this weekend, people must to be careful not to lose their homes to fires.

National Fire Authority (NFA) chief executive officer, Puamau Sowane, said the authority deals with fires every Diwali.

Presenting the statistics on fires, Ms Kumar said fires were largely avoidable.

“Of fire incidents recorded from January to October 35.4 per cent were electrical related. We need to ensure our purchase and use of electrical appliances is safe and all electrical works are to be undertaken by qualified tradespeople,” she said.

Arson accounted for 23.6 per cent of fires in that period and 10 per cent were from unattended cooking.

“In the months of September and October, apart from attending to structural fire incidents, the National Fire Authority also attended to a total of 280 small fires, rubbish and bush fires and vehicle fires,” Ms Kumar said.

The authority said the most common cause of Diwali fires were firecrackers and diyas left unattended.

Mr Sowane said people must to be extra careful with fireworks. He said fire safety should be practised every day.

From January to October 2020, fires have caused structural damage amounting to $8.3 million.

Ms Kumar wished everyone a happy Diwali and urged everyone to take great care when handling fireworks and lighted candles.

“Diwali is usually a time where we see an increase in fire incidents, but for this year we do not want anyone to have their celebrations ruined,” she said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj


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