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MOSCOW, January 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The number of fires and the fire mortality rate go up during the New Year holiday season, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu told Itar-Tass.
“As a rule, two weeks of celebrations have negative consequences. I may be wrong, but I think that two weeks of celebrations are too much,” he said.
“More than 100 people will die in fires from January 1 through 13 in Russia, like that happened two or three years before, if we do not hold an active information campaign and do not check places of public events for fire safety,” he said.
Another big problem is inferior fireworks, Shoigu said. “It is important not only to tell people that they should not throw flares from their balcony to the balcony of a neighbor. The real problem is the selling of unlicensed, uncertified and simply dangerous products. In fact, fireworks are weapons,” he said.
‘Hopefully, the number of unscrupulous sellers will be reducing,” he said.
Fireworks must not be sold in street kiosks, he said. “Such items must be sold by people who bear responsibility for what they sell. People should keep receipts, which indicate where the fireworks are bought. I also hope that the sellers and the producers know what they do,” Shoigu said.
In the previous years the number of fires reached 870 on some days, which is twice larger than the average annual indicator, and the fire mortality rage more than tripled, from 32 to 117 people per day, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
The ministry said that the most significant cause of the fire and the fire mortality rate was alcohol and negligence of fire safety rules.
The ministry stressed that people should not forget about simple safety rules, such as that lit candles and Christmas tree lights, Bengal fire and flares may start a fire and an iron, a TV set, other household electric appliances and a cigarette butt may be equally dangerous.
The ministry has a hotline for reports about uncertified fireworks and violations of fire safety rules.
New Year is one of the best beloved holidays in Russia. More than 300,000 people took place in outdoor New Year celebrations in Moscow alone, including 75,000 people in the city center.