Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Oct 20 2014

Fire Champ

Category: Egress,FDAI,Fire Doors,NewsLori @ 1:58 pm Comments (17)
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Fire ChampFire Champ is a new app currently used in Bangalore, India.  It allows citizens to report fire safety violations which are then addressed by the fire department.  The app was launched by Beyond Carlton, an organization that was formed after the 2010 Carlton Towers tragedy, a fire in which 9 people were killed and 70 injured.  According to members of the rescue team, stair doors on every level of the Carlton Towers high-rise were locked, preventing access to the exit stairs.

The Fire Champ app includes a dropdown menu of possible issues…fire exit blocked, sprinklers or smoke alarms blocked, combustible material in electrical room, fire extinguishers expired or blocked, fire pump in off mode, or combustible garbage stacked up in electric shaft.  Once a complaint is posted, it can be viewed by others who have installed the app.

Personally, I would love to take a photo, fill in some information, and have it routed to the correct fire department.  But there are challenges when considering an app like this for use on a wider scale…

  • Who receives the complaints and sends them to the appropriate contact at the local fire department?
  • Will the fire department be able to handle the volume of issues?
  • What would prevent someone from posting incorrect information that could result in a waste of a fire inspector’s time or worse?
  • Would there be retaliation for reporting a problem?

 

What are your thoughts on an app like this for the U.S.?  Valuable?  Or more trouble than it’s worth?

UPDATE: Check this out – Forth Worth has a similar app:  http://fortworthtexas.gov/codecompliance/default.aspx?id=86376

17 Responses to “Fire Champ”

  1. Dave C. says:

    In a perfect world our Fire Door Safety Inspection Program would be fully accepted and implemented in all states and there would be few issues related bogus complaints and threats to the informants.
    As long as our cities and towns continue to ignore the programs accepted in their state legislatures it will probably take more disasters to get this well thought out program to be fully implemented.

  2. Scott Barringer says:

    Long over due…you have got to push this through and get everyone using it…just think, it might save a life!!! What a concept !!!

  3. Dan says:

    For those that need a job perhaps this could be a full time position within each municipality’s building safety department. This person would screen the emails, site investigate and issue the citations if warranted. The position’s salary would come from a portion of the fines. The website would require the compaintant to give the address by municipality and would remain anonymous.

  4. Richard Leibowitz says:

    As long as safety officials are not chasing phantoms, I think being able to drop a dime is a healthy idea. In Massachusetts many “Uses” are inspected annually. Perhaps a list of complaint observations could be forwarded to an appropriate inspector to investigate during his or her official visit.

    • Lori says:

      That reminds me…I saw some egress issues in Sturbridge. I’ll have to ask my pal in Charlton who’s in charge there. 🙂

  5. Ken Adkisson says:

    My first thought is, would reporting something cause a shift in liability if nothing was done to correct the issue and an injury occurred. Would liability shift to the entity that received the report if there was no action taken? I think this could be an obstacle in getting something like this implemented. It’s unfortunate but probably true.

    • Lori says:

      I think that if a report was received by the fire department and the fire department did not act, there would be trouble if something happened in that building. But I think the liability would still lie with the building owner.

  6. Brad Keyes says:

    Hi Lori…

    Thanks for the posting on the app to report fire safety issues to the appropriate fire department personnel. While I like the idea of such an app to be used in the US, I agree with your questions. Do people actually know enough about fire safety to report actual violations?

    The few times that I decided to notify local fire inspectors of obvious fire safety violations, they were not received well. For the most part, they were either ignored, or not responded to in a timely manner. I even received comments from fire officials that they were too busy and understaffed to respond to complaints from the public.

    Consider what the city of Goodyear, AZ did to help solve their problem of being understaffed. They advertised in the local paper for people to become part-time fire inspectors, and stated it would be a non-paid job. They interviewed over 30 responders (I believe) and selected 6 candidates with some sort of background in fire safety for training to become a legal fire inspector. The successful candidates received uniforms, complete with badges and hat, and get to drive a city Fire Department vehicle (but they can’t sound the siren and turn the flashing lights on) to each inspection. They are only assigned buildings that the city considers to be a low priority and do not inspect more critical buildings like hospitals.

    I have a former co-worker and friend(?) who went through the training and became a successful candidate and he really likes what he does. I think he only inspects 6 hours a week, or something like that, and most of the new inspectors are retired people who just want something to do during the day. Serving their community in a way that keeps them safe is a marvelous idea.

    It’s not an app, but I like what one community did to solve their understaffed position.

  7. Chuck says:

    If it’s designed for use by the general public, it would probably prove to be more of a nuisance than an aid.

  8. Cda says:

    Already here but have not seen where it is directed at one department.

    The ones I have seen normally go to code enforcement and dispersed if they do not handle it.

    Yes there will be abuse but that happens over the phone. I like it because it gives more info and pictures!!!! In helping to pinpoint the problem.

    http://fortworthtexas.gov/codecompliance/default.aspx?id=86376

    • Lori says:

      I love it! Why can’t there be a generic app that could be duplicated by any jurisdiction, with the same functionality but the emails would go to the correct department. That would be great!

  9. Cda says:

    Our city and also the city I live in have an Internet link on the city website
    To report anything and everything wrong in the city

  10. Cda says:

    Yes another way to report items. I did one in the city I live in yesterday. You can have them contact you about the resolution, and there is a history that something has been reported.

    In the city I work in, the city manager tracks to see if anyone has checked it and followed up on a reported item. So someone is taking it serious.

  11. faisal shsh says:

    I think this case total responbilty of building sefty managment not active.And as i’m thinkin maximum casualty will be hapen deu to reason of not smoke evacuation device in building.

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