Fire 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?