Fire safety: Beyond Carlton fetes alert citizen

Monday marked five years since the day (February 23, 2010) a fire broke out in Carlton Towers and claimed nine lives and left 60 injured. Cut to the present, and the wounds have not fully healed.

But there is a sense of contentment for making a “slow difference” through ‘Beyond Carlton’, the fire advocacy group. Uday Vijayan, who started the group after losing his 23-year-old son, says persistence pays.

“If I look back, we began as a small group of people who lost someone or were survivors. We were angry. But we learnt that with a well intentioned case, even an irrelevant discussion becomes important,” he said. The group has 15 active members and 100 ‘passive’ supporters.

At the annual event held recently, two firemen were honoured, as has been the practice. But this year, a citizen — Sunny Verma — was also feted for noticing a fire hazard at a city mall.

Realising that valves that pump water into the sprinkler were closed, he refused to budge until the error was rectified.

To encourage participation from citizens, ‘Beyond Carlton’ is putting final touches to its ‘Fire Champ’ app (undergoing trial), which will empower citizens to report violations and push government agencies into acting on them.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:38:27 AM |

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