Mock fire drill at Mumbai apartment

Motivated by the alarming statistics of 907 housing societies uploading fire-fighting measures certificates on the municipal corporation portal this year, RAC Mumbai Nova, RID 3141, aimed to go beyond a routine mock fire drill with their Project Agni Abhyaas. Club president Meet Jain says “our mission was to instil a mental alert mechanism in residents against fire mishap for them to instantly get ready for evacuation.” The project was also aimed at fortifying the safety procedures related to fire accidents.

A fire fighter briefing the residents on the usage of a fire extinguisher.

In a city where safety awareness often lags, the groundwork for the project involved understanding the prevalence of fire accidents in Mumbai and the apparent lack of serious fire prevention measures in many buildings. Shraddha Heights, a sprawling apartment complex in Borivali West, was chosen and the Rotaractors with the help of the fire and rescue department studied the buildings to come up with a “well-versed evacuation plan that included which staircase to take, identifying the fire exits and reach an assembly point outside the complex,” says Jain.

Residents learned to respond quickly and safely in hazardous situations, and were able to practise emergency procedures in a simulated environment. We also assessed their ability to carry out emergency duties.

The elaborate plan, including all exit routes, was shared with the occupants in advance. Logistics, including fire alarm systems, strobe lights and smoke detectors, were tested to ensure proper functionality and necessary permissions were obtained from authorities.

Residents listening to instructions given by the fire and rescue official.

The Rotaract team reached the venue two hours before the drill to set up logistics. The drill was made compulsory for all occupants, and instructions were announced to motivate and guide residents. The time taken for evacuation was noted for evaluating the performance of residents. They also engaged in a Q&A session, ensuring they understood the drill’s importance and were prepared for emergencies. Feedback was collected from participants of the mock fire drill.

Residents try to extinguish a fire during the mock fire drill.

Sharing the post-drill impact analysis, Jain says that “residents learned to respond quickly and safely in hazardous situations, and were able to practise emergency procedures in a simulated environment. We also assessed their ability to carry out emergency duties.” As for the Rotaractors “the event expanded our knowledge about the Life Saving Measures Act 2006 and the importance of safety protocols for efficient emergency responses.”

Children on their way to enjoy a special movie screening organised by the club.

Recently the club brought smiles to the faces of underprivileged children and members of the LGBTQIA+ community through their heartwarming initiative, Book a Smile. The project aimed to treat these individuals to a day at the movies, “fostering inclusivity, social integration and community bonds,” says Hussain Udaipurwala, who along with a fellow club member Tanisha Khimavat, drafted the plan to take the children for a special screening at the Metro Inox Cinemas at the city malls.

First “we carefully selected age-appropriate movies, coordinated logistics, and focused on creating a gay and child-friendly ambience,” says Udaipurwala. BEST buses were used for transportation. Children were welcomed with enthusiasm at both venues and provided with snacks followed by the movie screening.

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