Avoid another Kamala Mills; safety checklist to remember when going out next

Kamala Mills, Mumbai fire, safety precautions, fire and safety assessment, safety checklist, Fire department, Government of India, Fire department, India,
Avoid another Kamala Mills; safety checklist to remember when going out next

We all witnessed the unfortunate fire that gripped a restaurant in Mumbai and took away the precious lives of people. It is time that not only the government, concerned authorities, property holders but also customers and common people like us, take charge of analysing situations before embarking there.

It is as much our responsibility to ensure we ask the right questions, probe the facilities and take a rounded view of any restaurant, hotel or public space that we trek into. After all, it could be a matter of life.

Listed below are some key pointers that every person should look into. Let’s not shy away from such pertinent questions. We do not want another gripping episode to take away our lives.

Check for the latest Fire safety assessment certificate –

Every institution has to mandatorily get certified by the fire & safety department for following safety measures in their premises. Check for these certificates. Most places have them conveniently put on walls. Is it the latest or an outdated one? This can be a good indication of what the situation in that place is.

Fire Detection and Warning System

If a fire cannot be prevented, steps should be put in place to detect one, as soon as possible, should it occur, and to warn people in the premises. Does the hotel/restaurant have the latest detection and warning system? Are the smoke detectors linked to clear alarms in all occupied areas of the building, including individual hotel rooms? Are the fire extinguishers in easily reachable places? Look out for these.

Provide Escape Routes and Fire Doors

Every floor should have an appropriate number of fire doors, with clearly marked escape routes from all points. High-risk areas should have correspondingly fast escape routes to enable quick evacuation. Fire exits should lead to a safe point outside the building. Areas at risk of fire should also have heavy, fireproof doors which can be closed after evacuation to prevent the spread of fire.

 Emergency Lighting Along Escape Routes

When a fire is detected, it is frequently a good practice to shut down non-essential systems that could be damaged by fire or make one worse. Hence emergency lighting alongside emergency routes becomes essential. Fire exists need to be adequately lit. This is especially important in areas where there is little or no natural light, such as your hotel corridors.

 Allocate Safe Landing Points

A good safety plan should include areas outside a hotel/restaurant, sufficient to accommodate all the building’s occupants, away from the hazard. These congregation points should be clearly spelt out and known to all the staff so that they can guide the people and occupants.

Provision of Firefighting Equipment

Firefighting equipment should be supplied at all relevant points. Depending upon the kind of establishment it is, authorities have specified the type of extinguisher they need to have. Are these installed? These become vital questions from a safety perspective.

Trained staff

All the staff at any sort of establishment needs to be fully trained in firefighting methodologies. From knowing how to avoid panic situations, guiding guests to exits, to using fire extinguishers – trained staff is critical to have.  They should be aware of fire safety procedures, including vigilance, how to raise an alarm, how to fight fires, and how to evacuate the building. Regular fire drills and training sessions should be carried out too.


Fire action notices should be clearly displayed so that staff and visitors understand what action to take in the event of a mishap. There should be clearly stated manuals in all hotel properties. All fire escape routes should have adequate signage showing the escape route via the shortest available path.

 Service & Maintenance

Timely and adequate servicing of all safety equipment should be carried out at regular intervals. Every establishment should be accredited by a third party which is authorised to carry out such checks. As in the unfortunate episode in Mumbai, regular upgradation checks had not been carried out.

Safety is a non-negotiable instrument. Not just for guests who go to a hotel or a restaurant but as much for the people who work there. Let’s not take it lightly. The repercussions could be unimaginable.


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