Cigarette butts main reason of fires in Istanbul, data reveals
The main causes of nearly 18,000 fires that occurred in the first 10 months of 2020 in Istanbul were cigarette butts and electrical short circuits, according to data from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
The number of fires in 2020 decreased by 7 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, the report said.
The latest figures have revealed that 40 percent of the 17,697 fires that have occurred to date were caused due to improper disposal of smoking materials in Istanbul, a metropolis with a total population of almost 16 million.
Fires due to electrical short circuits followed this figure with 30 percent.
In 2020, 68.5 percent of fires in Istanbul occurred on its European side, while 31.5 percent took place on its Asian side.
Some 2.6 percent of the fires that broke out in 2020 were caused by children.
Esenyurt, Istanbul’s most crowded district with a population of 800,000 with relatively lower socio-economical standards, was reported as the district with the highest number of fires that took place on the European side, while Pendik District, which lies close to the Marmara Sea, topped the list with highest fires on the Asian side.
The average response time of the firefighters was 5 minutes 41 seconds in the metropolis, while this figure is over 6 minutes by international standards, according to, Istanbul Fire Department Head Remzi Albayrak.
Albayrak stated that the teams that set out to respond to the fire faced various difficulties and this extended the time to reach the scene, emphasizing that the biggest problem was the vehicles parked on the streets.
Albayrak stated that trainings on earthquakes, pandemics and natural disasters are also provided within the institution and that residents can attend these trainings if they request.
Together with the volunteers, 4,605 firefighters serve in 123 stations in Istanbul.