The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Razaq Fadipe, has refuted claims that fire incidents is on the increase in the state.
He stated this while receiving a delegation of the IOSH-Informal Network Group in Nigeria, at the Fire Service Headquarters, Alausa-Ikeja, on Friday, February 18.
According to him, the operations of the state fire service have advanced over the years with improved techniques in tackling fire incidents in the state.
Fadipe, who was represented by the Chief Fire Superintendent of the service, Mr. Sonwo Lawrence, said the service has modern equipment which could fight fire outbreak more efficiently.
He said, “We have trucks that allow us to manage the use of water at the scene of emergency. Gone are the days when you go to a scene of fire and you just begin to pour water. These vehicles enable us to manage water that will give us maximum result.
“For those that are conversant with the terrain of Lagos, you will observe that between 2015 and 2016, new fire hydrants were installed around the state.
“This is also to assist the fire trunks to easily get water during emergency. It’s no more the issue of travelling far to get water to quench a fire.”
The fire boss disclosed that the state’s fire service had recorded 238 emergency calls since the beginning of the year.
He added, “One of the presumed minds of the populace is that once a fire truck arrives the scene, they work for eternity. That is not possible because we have limited content that we carry.
“So, that is why when the people call for emergency, we send backup so that when the first vehicle arrives, the second accompanies it to complement the effort so that they don’t quickly run out of water.”
Fadipe also debunked reports that fire was on the increase in the state, noting, “People have continued to say that fire is on the increase in Lagos.
“I will debunk that because when you compare the total number of residents in Lagos state, Lagos is a place that emerges every day and the population increases every second.
“The state government has provided the necessary amenities and that is why people continue to come to Lagos.”
While reacting to a news report about a midnight fire incident where the victim got ‘no-response’ after making a call to the emergency line, Fadipe warned property owners to be conscious of their roles and not always ‘wait on’ the fire service.
He said, “A little blame to the fire service but a greater blame to the car owner because by law, any owner of a property should have a preventive measure and one is the fire extinguisher.
“Let everyone be conscious of what he or she should do. You cannot continue to wait for the fire service or the government. Every person should be responsible for him or herself and ask the question: what have we done?”
When informed by Safety Record Newspaper that fire extinguishers were used during the incident, the director advised residents to get the accurate lines of the fire service branch close to their areas.
“I will enjoin everyone to have the number of the fire stations close to you and also the line of the fire service headquarters,” he stressed.
The Coordinator of the IOSH Informal Network Group in Nigeria, Engr. Kayode Fowode said the tour enabled safety professionals create a better relationship with the Lagos State Fire Service.
“We understand their mode of operation and the degree to which they can deliver in cases of emergencies,” he said.
Meanwhile, two persons were feared dead and no fewer than 29 vehicles burnt along Apapa Road, Lagos after a tanker loaded with petrol caught fire after skidding off the road and spilling its content under a bridge along the road.
Fire also gutted a plastic company Rida National Plastics Limited, Mushin, Lagos and was escalated by the inflammable materials in the company. The cause of the fire was unascertained.