Former Chief Officers of Mumbai raise alarm on serious fire threat in malls

PD Karguppikar and Amarjit Singh Jhandwal, former Chief Fire Officers of Mumbai, are warning us that malls are a major fire-hazard. Their colleagues are keeping quiet for fear of offending their bosses in the administration. “The fire brigade and administration must not be content with issuing notices and penalties to such dangerous malls, which can easily kill hundreds of civilians and fire-fighters,” says Mr Jhandwal. “The only way is to immediately close down such malls, and force them to carry out the necessary changes to their buildings.”

See this animation video to understand how a burning car in the basement can trigger a major disaster within minutes, killing hundreds:

Mr Jhandwal explains that short-cuts taken by builders enables hot gases from a fire in the basement to trigger explosions upstairs in the glass-walled mall — a phenomenon called “mushrooming fire”.

You would not fly an unsafe airline and you would not allow your family to do so, right? Similarly, boycott unsafe malls where lifts and stairs connect top floor to basement. In relatively safe malls, stairs connect basement to the mall from outside and lifts from basement to ground-level are separate from lifts from ground-level to higher floors.

Demand rule-enforcement from your State Government. Don’t let the builder-lobby dilute the Development Control Regulations. After all, it is your life at risk. And your family’s lives.

To read about fire safety violations in Mumbai and other Indian cities, visit


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