Tackling incessant fire outbreak in Nigeria
By Ochiaka Ugwu
Fire outbreak is never a pleasant incident. It is better imagined than experienced. When fire breaks out, there are serious problems for the residents of the area and owners of particular property as extinguishing fire is never a child’s play. There are many causes of fire outbreaks but there are also many ways to prevent such events. Also, even when a fire has destroyed a property so much, the property can be restored by hiring fire and flood restoration experts.
This brings us to the incessant fire outbreak the nation is experiencing right now that always leave a lot of destruction in its wake. Of late, fire outbreaks have reduced several major markets in Lagos, Kebbi, Kano, Cross River and Gombe States to rubble in recent weeks. Thereby fostering untold hardship to people who were caught in the cross fire.
To curtail this wide spread menace, the federal government announced its intention to partner with state governments to curtail future occurrences. Speaking recently on the inferno that occurred in a fruits market in Gombe State, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, while condoling the victims of the accident said the federal government would deepen collaboration with states towards finding lasting solution to the problem.
In a statement signed by his press secretary, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, Mr. Dambazzau said this synergy will also involve industrialists and representatives of traders in the country. According to Dambazzau, the aim will be to build a platform for safety procedures and to also retool the nation’s fire service response mechanism at various levels.
Mr. Dambazau, who earlier visited the scenes of fire incidents in Kano and Kebbi markets during the Easter holidays, noted there was need to embrace safety measures, and adhere strictly to international fire codes. He said the government was determined to find lasting solution to this menace
Agreed that the fire did not start today and federal government has been promising to arrest the situation each time it happen, but the fact remains that we need a concerted effort to arrest the ugly situation as it has become one fire too many. Be it known that lives have been lost and property worth millions of Naira have been consumed by the raging inferno.
However, the wisest thing to do is to set up measures that will prevent this ugly fire from occurring or try to learn how to stop the fire before it gets to the important assets of one’s property. In achieving this, one must be acquainted with common causes of fire outbreak.
Experts have said there are numerous things that can set a house or building on fire. Many times a fire occurs because of a person’s carelessness but other times it’s just fate and nobody can be blamed for it. That is why a pamphlet should be produced bordering on some of the most common causes of fire outbreaks which people should read in order to avoid them and save your property from a fire situation. The Ministry of Interior and Federal Fire Service should power the programme for the benefit of Nigerians who were always at the receiving end of this ugly happenstance. It must be read by every adult which they will gradually pass on to their children. With this, the great revolution towards fire prevention may have just started and from there we move forward.
Moreover, gas leakage just like what happened in Nnewi during last year’s Christmas celebration can cost you your precious home and neighbourhood if it is not rectified in time. The Nnewi fire caused by gas explosion took countless lives and saw property worth millions of Naira destroyed. Gas leakage can be experienced in any property no matter if it’s an old or a new one. When gas is leaking through the pipes no matter if it is in your kitchen area or any other part where gas is being used for cooking or related purposes, a single matchstick can blow the entire place up. This calls for government and stakeholders’ attention in regulating the activities of the operators of home gas plants.
Normally, natural gas is safe to use in homes but when it does not burn up completely due to faulty installation or lack of ventilation, it passes off a by-product of carbon monoxide. The more carbon monoxide in the air, the less oxygen you would be able to inhale, potentially harming you. This is when you only exhale the gas but in-case it catches fire, the damage it would do will be irreversible. Many lives have been lost in these avoidable issues.
Smoking cigarette, though dangerous to health, does more harm than that. It is normally believed that smoking is harmful to a person’s health but there are a lot of other harms that cigarette smoking is doing to the surroundings of the smokers. Smoking damages the environment, it spreads different diseases among those people who are near the smokers and are becoming passive smokers which health experts said are even at more risk than the real smoker.
Apart from all these harms, when a cigarette makes contact with something flammable, it holds the power to set an entire building or house on fire. So, its time we realize our habit can damage our homes as well as our neighbours. This may as well be the reason government banned public smoking in Abuja, but unfortunately the law is yet to be enforced as you see many people smoke in public without recourse to the law that placed the ban on it.
Over working of electronic and electrical equipment like generator, especially the one named by Nigerian public as “I pass my neighbour” is considered as the main cause of fire outbreak in our clime. It always starts when the appliance over heats and with nobody within reach to extinguish the small inferno, it will graduate to big fire.
Again, electronic equipment that is poorly stored with constricted air vents such as radios, stereo equipment, television and computers are expected to overheat. This would lead to fire outbreaks and related issues. So it is important that we always make sure to have all this equipment fitted and configured properly along with adding surge protectors in order to avoid electrical arcs or spikes equipment which can lead to sparking and short circuits.
Curiously, if it is the cigarette smoking, gas leakage or electric equipment over-heating that is causing these recent fire incidents, we must be proactive in arresting this unpleasant situation. This apart, also there are many things that can go up in flames in our homes and which is why we should make sure to have the proper measures in order to handle such fire situation. The time is now. We must stop this if not for anything to stop the human suffering occasioned by the fire incidents which are widespread in our society today.