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An 8,000 km Car Rally for Fire Safety

CHENNAI: You may have heard of people going on car and bike rallies across states for peace, and even to raise awareness on various issues. But do you know of anyone attempting a nation-wide car rally to promote fire safety? Meet V Shivaramakrishnan, who went on a 8,500-km journey a across the country.
City Express caught up with him to probe what inspired this journey.


A fire safety consultant for the past 18 years, Shivaramakrishnan is a member of Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI), a non-profit representing the fire protection, life safety, building automation and loss prevention domains. “Though people invest a lot in interiors and lighting during construction, they don’t spend much on fire safety systems,” avers Shiva. “In the event of a fire, even the smallest thing make a difference. How can we prevent disasters when hospitals and schools are most vulnerable to fire accidents?”


This negligence made him realize the importance of spreading awareness on fire safety. He drove through Bengaluru, Goa, Pune, Thane, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Kolkata — and was welcomed warmly by the respective fire departments.


“Everywhere I went, people were curious to know what I was doing, as the stickers in my care promoted fire safety,” he smiles. “A senior official of the Thane Fire Department, who is usually busy, met me On another occasion, I was given a grand welcome at the National Fire Service College in Nagpur, and the officials there further appreciated my movement.”


Having just returned last week, Shiva is still upbeat about the mark he has made. “The issue of fire safety is becoming more and more important in the wake of recent events, especially the Puttingal Temple fire in Kerala,” avers Shiva. “It doesn’t just mean fire alarm systems — it also incorporates designing of escape routes, exit maps, integration of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, SMS alerts and ensuring access control to doors and windows. If we start educating people of its importance, we can make our cities fire-proof for sure.” He is already working with the FSAI for a marathon promoting the same in Pune.


Across the country. City Express caught up with him to probe what inspired this journey.


🔀October 2017