Over 11,000 fire incidents were reported in the national capital between April and July 31 this year in which 36 persons died and 262 were injured besides loss of property, data compiled by Delhi Fire Service (DFS) showed.
DFS – which recorded an unprecedented number of fire calls in April and May – got 11,654 calls till July 31 this accounting year. However, the number of fire incidents decreased sharply after May.
"The number of fire calls were so huge this year between April and May that we did a day-to-day analysis, but now the numbers have settled to what we can call normal," a senior fire official said.
Of 3,560 calls received in May and 3,300 in April; DFS found that a lot of fire incidents were of minor nature or were "panic calls".
The numbers declined by 30 per cent to settle at 2,545 in June and 2,254 in July.
"Spike in fire calls in the peak months of May and June is a trend that we observe every year, and the reason for that is extreme weather condition. Low humidity made this year worse," Delhi Fire Chief G C Mishra said.
In 2015, 27,089 cases of fire were reported which claimed 339 lives and injured 2,099 persons.
He said to ensure fewer casualties, the fire department alerts at least two-three fire stations so that whichever reaches at the spot first can start dousing the fire.
Narrow lanes and congested streets though spoil a lot of time before fire extinguishing actually starts.
"There is nothing that we can do about narrow lanes. We have come with alternatives like laying down hose pipes through the streets but they are not the end solution," he said emphasising the need for an inbuilt fire safety system to control fire before it is spread.
"With every minute, the risk increases not only for common people but to our fire men as well," he said.
DFS also gives No Objection Certificate (NOC) on the basis of 20 parameters laid down by the Delhi Fire Service Rules 2010. However, the older buildings – which do not come under the purview of the new law – continue to be a challenge for the department.