The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe has decried the rate of emergency calls received since January to March this year.
He noted that despite continuous public enlightenment strategies put in place by the state to reduce incessant fire outbreaks, the situation is “very worrisome.”
Fadipe said this while delivering a paper at a programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in collaboration with National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter), in commemoration of the 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28.
Fadipe, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Samson Sule, noted that many fire incidents were preventable if victims kept to safety rules.
Giving the number of emergency calls from January to March this year as 510, he urged members of the public to imbibe fire safety consciousness and comply with fire prevention techniques.
Fadipe who said that the service effectively responded to 1,931 fire cases in Lagos in 2016 lamented that continuous fire outbreak if not well managed could affect the state’s economy.
He said, “There is need for us in our businesses to have fire safety consciousness. Many fire incidents wouldn’t have occurred if we had kept to fire safety rules. We need to talk about fire safety in addition to what we know.”
Furthermore, he urged Lagos residents to desist from behaviours that predispose their premises to fire.
“Don’t overload your sockets by plugging a lot of things in it. Let air conditionals have their own socket. Don’t store fuel carelessly. If you are careful, passersby, neighbours, your children, may not remember that you kept fuel in such place and may carry around anything that can lead to fire outbreak,” he said.
He explained that it takes three components – heat, oxygen and fuel – to start a fire, warning residents to see that the controllable component (fuel) is out of the way to avoid fire outbreak.
He said, “When it is the harsh weather, the heat is already present in the environment. Oxygen is also in the atmosphere. There is also fuel around. In the presence of these three, if there is a spark, it will lead to a fire.
“So that is why we have more fire disasters in the dry season than in the rainy season. But this does not mean that fire should occur. We have to be safety conscious by not putting fuel at home.”
The fire boss advised residents to beware of fuelling generator and car engines while they are running as they pose a major fire hazard.
He added that residents should, “properly dispose wooden ashes, properly discard cigarettes; don’t smoke on bed. Don’t hang clothes on electrical panels; avoid unconditional burning of refuse.
“If you must use candle, you must have a good protective base. Candles nowadays are thinner so without a protective base, they can easily fall and it will lead to fire outbreak,” he stated.