LAHORE - More than 65 percent fire accidents in the city have taken place due to electrical problems with short-circuiting as main cause. Substandard use of electric wires and cables during electrical wiring of the building is the main reason behind the short-circuiting. The other reason of fire incidents are careless use of oil stove, pressure cooker, gas leakage, smoking, LPG cylinder explosion and bomb blast, says a random study conducted by Lahore Fire Bridge. Fire accidents caused by electricity last year numbered over 1,350, and in the first half of this year over 700. City government official requesting anonymity informed that most of the electric wire manufacturers in the city were working without license, which made it difficult for the government to put a check on the quality of their products. He said that substandard wires started coming in the city's markets eight years ago. He said that there were three types of wires - the 7/64 wire, the 7/29 wire and the 3/29 wire. The 7/64 wire is used for industrial purposes, the 7/29 wire is a heavy-duty wire whereas the 3/29 wire is mostly used in houses. "The 3/29 wire requires 1.04 kilogrammes of 99.9 percent pure copper for 90 metres of wire (one pack). The 3/29 wire has three copper cords of 29 kcmil (29,000 circular mils - standard wire gauge) covered by plastic insulation," he added. He said the substandard wires had cords of 19 kcmil, which made them 'hard-conductors' (electricity cannot pass through them easily). He said that with the decrease in the quality, the manufacturer earned up to Rs150 on every 90 metres. He said that to earn more, some manufacturers used an iron cord with two copper cords in a 3/29 wire. However, some manufacturers went ahead and started manufacturing wires with all three cords made of iron. This practice saves them up to Rs300 on every 90 metres. He said that due to the use of iron cords, the plastic insulation on the wires, melted and caused short circuits. Though the percentage of fire mishaps because of short-circuiting is mounting but neither power authorities nor the consumers shifted their focus to curb the problem, study revealed. Study says that often power fluctuation, defects in electrical design, electric wiring, use of low quality wire for the functioning of electrical appliance and residents' improper use of electricity have been the main causes for fires. Study disclosed that it was high time to publicise information on the correct use of electricity and using qualitative power breakers to check the incidents of fire due to short-circuiting. A possible reason of fire incidents in residential areas is also reported to be small power generators, which caught fire and set the whole building ablaze, it maintained. Firefighters working in Lahore Fire Brigade and Rescue 1122 were skeptical about the fire occurrences in big departmental store and government departments. They had asked "Why does it (the fire) happen in said buildings where qualitative electric infrastructure is ensured?" Most of them think that fire insurance is reason good enough behind the frequency of fires at large departmental stores. They said that it also happened in number of cases that fire broke out only in store or reference rooms of government departments where important data and files are placed. The data is being destroyed through so-called accidental short-circuiting when the authorities required them in pursuance of any probe. Lahore Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer told the Nation that number of fire incidents were on rise due to short-circuiting as consumers were careless in the installation of electrical wiring in their houses. Besides owners of commercial buildings also avoided ensuring the placement of high-quality wires which could sustain the load of electricity. "In proportion to number of fire incidents, number of fatalities are low. However there are linkages between the number of fires and the risk of subsequent injuries or fatalities which could be avoided through installing smoke alarm," he maintained. Rescue 1122 DG Dr Rizwan Naseer said that government needed to motivate the consumers that they should not compromise over wires and cables as this thing was directly related to their lives. He said that Emergency Services Day was observed on Tuesday to mark the establishment of the first trained, professional Emergency Service in Pakistan and raise awareness for the establishment of an effective emergency management system across the country. He said that main reason for the success of the Service had been the quality training of emergency staff, an effective emergency response system working through a toll free universal emergency number 1122 and indigenous cost-effective development of emergency vehicles. He said the Service had provided citizens with a sense of safety by providing timely rescue and quality emergency care to the victims of emergencies, accidents and disasters. Only timely call and timely response could prevent emergencies from turning into disasters, he added.