No fire safety for Bangalore’s bars

Bangalore City

Even after accidents and warnings, situation unchanged in the city.

By Bibek Baidya | Bangalore  

 Many low-rise buildings, liquor outlets, bars and pubs in the city are still not equipped with fire safety measures, in spite of the many accidents that have occurred.

The Indian National Building Code, 2016, says that buildings should have fire safety equipment like first-aid kits, manual alarms and fire extinguishers. High-rise buildings have to get an NOC (No-objection Certificate) from the fire department of the state.

Many low-rise buildings around Kumbalgudu and Kengeri, where liquor outlets are housed, are not designed to tackle a fire outbreak. Nine out of 10 such outlets surveyed by The Softcopy had no fire safety measures.

Depak Sagar, owner of one such outlet in Kengeri, said, “When our shop was built in 2015, we were not aware of the fire safety measures. He, however, said they will build emergency exits “if possible”.

In January 2018, a fire in Kailash Bar in Kalasipalya killed five employees, because there is only one exit in the hotel and the exit, was locked. Since that the scenario has not changed in Bangalore.    

Irshad, a daily visitor at one of the city’s bars, said, “Most of the visitors use matches to light cigarettes and then throw them here and there. Fires can break out easily. Owners should have a separate fire exit and other fire safety measures.”

D. Rasheed, Deputy Director of Administration at the Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services, said action will be taken against the violators. “Previously, we have surveyed these bars and restaurants and fined them. But they still have not taken the responsibility. We will conduct a new survey and major steps will be taken against the violators.” 

Vikas, a manager of a Global Spirit outlet near Gopalan Mall, said, “Our bar will soon undergo reconstruction. We are planning to build a fire exit then. Until then, we are extra vigilant to prevent any mishaps.”

Depak GS of Abhivruddhi Construction, a construction company, said, “We install fire safety equipment only if the owner asks for it. Otherwise, we just install fire resistant cables, to prevent a mishap in case of short-circuit.”