With more and more residential high-rises coming up, adequate steps towards fire safety and following the required norms seem to be lacking.
With approximately 40 calls being made every month to the fire department regarding residential fires, there is an immediate need to educate Bangaloreans about fire mishaps. According to the fire department, in 2012 alone, 1,670 cases of fire were registered out of which 357 were residential. From January 2012 approximately 40 cases have been filed every month; the highest number being 52, filed in April.
City Express undertook a reality check in few apartments. A visit to an apartment building in Fraser Town revealed that the guard and the residents were not aware of fire safety measures at all. When asked if the guard knew where the fire extinguishers were kept or if he knew how to operate them, he denied point blank.
Mahima Bhatt (name changed), an IT professional almost faced death two years ago when fire broke out in her kitchen, in her apartment in Kormangala 4th block.
“We had kept some newspapers under the stove which caught fire. My roommate and I ran down to get the extinguisher but could not find one in the building. When we asked the guard, he just shrugged and said he didn’t know about it. We ran back to our house and with the help from few neighbours, we were able to extinguish the fire,” she recalled. Mahima added that even after the incident, the owner didn’t bother to keep an extinguisher and no action was taken.
When we contacted B G Changappa, director, department of fire and emergency services, he said, “We can’t go door-to-door conducting drills. Residents have to take up the responsibility. They can write to us and we will conduct a drill for their apartment, free of cost.”