New Delhi, April 14, 2016 – Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pune Fire Department are collaborating with Safe Kids Foundation India (SKFI), a leading NGO, for a citywide fire safety awareness drive. The Honeywell-sponsored Safe Kids at Home program by SKFI is the knowledge partner for Fire Service Week, being observed from April 14-20. This unique collaboration marks how public – private partnerships are leading the way towards making Pune a model safe city, in line with the government’s 100 Smart Cities vision.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2014, Maharashtra accounted for the most number of deaths due to fire accidents (3,892), with maximum incidents (18.3 percent) reported in residential buildings. These statistics align with an IMRB study commissioned by SKFI in Pune. Per the report, 76,000 children under the age of 14 years suffered burn injuries that required medical attention in Pune in 2014. Of these, close to 3,000 children suffered third-degree burns. Distressingly, 64 percent of these injuries occurred at home.

Speaking at the launch of Fire Service Week, Shri Prashant Ranpise, the city’s Chief Fire Officer said, “While the department does its best to battle blazes and reduce losses during fire accidents, prevention is the best course of action. Throughout the Fire Service Week, we hope to encourage fire safety practices among city residents, and we appreciate the work done by SKFI with the Safe Kids at Home program.”

Fire safety messages and videos will be displayed at prominent public places, including hospitals, Pune railway station, malls and multiplexes. A citywide rally, street plays, community awareness drives, exhibitions, and distribution of pamphlets aim to educate citizens about fire hazards and preventive measures.

Fire Service Week is observed nationwide in remembrance of fire service personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and serves to raise public awareness on fire safety.

Funded by a Honeywell India grant, Safe Kids at Home is a home safety program to help prevent and reduce burns and scalds among children under 14 years old, in Pune. The program uses cutting-edge, experiential, and fun educational tools targeted at different age groups, to reach 325,000 children and 175,000 parents by 2018. To date, the program has covered 37,000 students across 175 schools.