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Fire authority warns of increase in fires during colder months

By Chen Xiaoru (Global Times)

16:47, November 09, 2012

Local fire authorities warned residents Thursday to be aware that fires are more likely to occur over the next few months because of the drier weather.

"The dry weather during the late autumn and winter makes it easier for fires to break out. People also don't react as fast when the weather is cold," said Zhou Meiliang, press officer for the Shanghai Municipal Fire Bureau.

Fifty-one fires broke out in the city in the 24 hours preceding the bureau's morning tally of fires Thursday, according to its official microblog.

It was about five times the average daily figure for this year. Fire officials said at a press conference Wednesday that 3,175 fires have occurred in city this year as of Tuesday. That amounts to about 10 fires each day.

The number of fires in the city fell 40 percent year-on-year from the same period last year, officials said at the press conference.

Shanghai has experienced fewer fires this year because authorities have stepped up fire prevention efforts ahead of the once-a-decade leadership change at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which started Thursday. "There have been fewer fires because this is the year of the 18th Party congress. We have put more effort into eliminating fire hazards," Zhou told the Global Times.

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