Bangalore: It is simple, free and user-friendly: a first of its kind fire safety app that urges citizens of Bangalore to play a role in preventing the next major fire mishap.
If you find a violation of fire safety rules at a public place - like the fire exit being locked -- simply shoot a picture on your phone through the Fire Champ Bangalore app, post it and watch the fire department solve it.
There are many apps which can locate the nearest fire station next to you. This one was founded by a man who lost his young son four years ago, in the city's worst fire incident.
Mr Uday Vijayan, of Beyond Carlton, lost his son in the Carlton Towers fire accident, which killed nine people and injured many others.
"We obviously do not want to make fire auditors or some such of people. This is a very small bit one can play to be aware, alert and safe, for your city. The fire department works hand-in-hand and I confess they have been very responsive and responsible after receiving the complaints," said Mr Vijayan.
From Bannerghatta in South Bangalore to Hebbal in the northern part of the city to Whitefield in newer Bangalore, citizens have been downloading the app to post complaints.
The information from the app reaches the fire department; nine out of 10 complaints, on an average, have been rectified.
"Some complaints are as basic as fire safety doors being locked and cars being parked at the emergency driveway. These may be small things but during an emergency, everything counts. Our inspection officers go and check the area, then re-inspect it after some time," said Mr Om Prakash, Director General of Police, fire department of Karnataka.
In the last one year, more than 1,500 buildings in the city have been slapped with notices for violation of fir safety norms. Many have been given time to rectify the lapses, to bring in simple and effective means to prevent incidents of fire.