Tuesday will be observed as the first 'Fire Awareness and Prevention day' in Karnataka, in remembrance of the Carlton Towers fire accident in 2010 in which nine people lost their lives and several were injured. Every year from now on, the fire department will conduct awareness programs among the public on February 23.
This idea was the brainchild of Beyond Carlton, an organisation formed by families of victims and survivors of the Carlton fire. Beyond Carlton has been conducting annual events since the accident to raise awareness about fire safety and have pushed the government to enact several laws to prevent such a disaster again.
â€śAfter all these years we have been able to set the ball rolling in terms of creation and ensuring safety measures within the system. However, if you ask me we still have a long way to go until we are a completely fire safe city.â€ť Uday Vijayan, Managing Trustee and President of Beyond Carlton, told TNM.
Eleven years ago, a fire broke out at Carlton Towers on Old Airport Road when many suffocated to death and others jumped from the high-rise building to escape the fumes, resulting in nine deaths and several being injured. The incident revealed severe flaws in fire protection rules and its implementation. Uday Vijayan, a parent who had lost his 23-year-old son in the tragedy, reached out to the families of the other victims and survivors and formed Beyond Carlton, India's first citizen-led fire safety community.
Speaking at an event organised by Beyond Carlton on Sunday, Kamal Kishore, member of NDMA, Indiaâ€™s apex body for disaster management, explained the importance of building an atmosphere where fire safety is taken seriously and fire fighters are seen as heroes. He suggested schools invite fire chiefs to school events to create such an atmosphere.
Roshin Mathew, Executive Director & President Engineering, Brigade Enterprises Ltd, explained the importance of fire safety in buildings and how it can be ensured during construction.
Vidya Goggi, a resident who lives in a high-rise building, spoke about the importance of fire safety awareness among occupants of high-rise buildings and the general mindset about fire safety.
During the event, musician Raghu Dixit and his team presented several songs about loss, hope and taking action. Beyond Carlton believes that some day these steps will lead to creation of a fire safe Bengaluru.