On 26th March, a FIRE SAFE session was conducted at the premises of Aquila Heights, Bengaluru. A high-rise with three towers touching 30 stories, this session was important for the Managing Committee(MC) and residents to focus on fire risks, prevention and escape plans. Forty residents, across all age groups, including a very responsible & participative resident – a Padma Bhushan awardee – made time for the FIRE SAFE session.
Ajay Ramachandran, the host and MC member & In-charge of the Fire Sub-committee at Aquila Heights, along with the team diligently worked on citizen engagement. Prior to the session, residents were encouraged to participate in a fire safety survey questionnaire. They were also educated about the existing fire-fighting systems installed in the apartment complex. That was an eye-opener for many to learn about the comprehensive nature of fire safety equipment available within their residential area. Aquila Heights is equipped with smoke detectors, and sprinklers in common areas as well as individual homes.
BEYOND CARLTON educators – Col Jude Maybe and B.K. Satyanarayana, led an interactive session with residents, taking them through the FIRE SAFE program modules. A key objective of the training is to enable citizens to be alert to fire risk, and to change behaviours toward fire safety. The session also helped residents to understand why it was important for them to know about fire safety, and to understand how to operate and use their apartment fire safety systems. The children were very curious and engaged. Their interest in learning new aspects of fire safety was commendable as they asked thought-provoking questions like “Should terrace doors be locked? and “how do we exit if the ground floor ever caught fire?” It demonstrated the need for having an escape plan based on the structure in place.
Start of session – Vidya in a diligent effort to communicate fire safety in homes – Aquila Heights.
She conducted a pre-session survey to cover existing awareness and preparedness levels
Col. Jude Mayne – presented the modules on fire risk levels as part of a home walkthrough. Also Fire and fire behaviour – the children in the audience were curious, and high on participation
Ajay Ramachandran from Aquila Heights explaining the Fire Switch and Hooter and pointed to equipment available at the complex
B.K Satyanarayana on the basics of response in case of fire
The educators demonstrated the right use of staircases, terraces and use of FEs to the audience in an open apartment setting by the poolside. Certainly many residents went back knowing how to use the FEs, along with other fire safety concepts of PASS, Stop-Drop-Roll, Fire Exits, Knowing the nearest fire station to call for emergencies and guiding protocols of the same.
The exercise also brought out some improvements aspects needed to enhance fire safety systems at the apartment, which the committee plans to take forward.
The BEYOND CARLTON team included Cheryl Rebello and Vidya Goggi, who were also on site, and interacted with the residents and urged them to spread this fire safety learning to other residents who may have not been able to attend. A suggestion to encapsulate a brief note on fire safety with key points discussed, was proposed so that it could be distributed to all residents. And a very valuable input indeed!. The apartment has also started putting together a blue print and comprehensive documentation of their fire systems. BEYOND CARLTON is happy to note that such interventions and progressive mindsets of apartment managing committees are helping keep residential communities aware, alert and a step closer to fire safety.