Yuletide: Lagos Sensitises Residents On Safety

John Ogunsemore

As part of efforts to ensure hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations in the state, the Lagos State Safety Commission has organised an “Ember Month” sensitisation programme for residents.

The programme which brought together event planners, venue owners, hotel managers, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), chemical engineers, community-based groups, emergency responders and security agencies, public and civil servants, and safety professionals held in Ketu, Lagos on Tuesday, December 12.

In his address, the Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson said that the meeting was organised to proffer accident prevention and management tips to residents during the festive period and beyond.

He said, “The meeting is aimed at giving tips on how to stay alive and manage situations in case of accidents.”

A facilitator, Dr Wale Adeboje urged event planners, venue owners and other residents to adhere to safety regulations and procedures to prevent accidents.

Adeboje, who spoke on ‘Organising a Safe Event In Ember Months’, added that visits to many event venues showed violations of basic safety measures.

He identified these violations to include no first aid box, no or outdated fire extinguishers, improperly laid cables, no muster point and no directional signs on the facility.

Adeboje, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Medicool Services Limited, noted that the violations posed various safety challenges including fire accident, trip and fall, parking disaster, blocking and locking of exit doors, covering directional signs with decorations, overcrowding, and use of unauthorised fireworks.

According to the safety professional, other safety challenges posed are theft and assault, wrong placement of props in walkways, theatrical smokes and fogs, and no safety moments before commencement of an event.

The Managing Director, Safety Experts Limited, Mrs Debbie Windele, lamented the high rate of fire-related incidents during the yuletide in the state.

Windele, whose company is the Fire Safety Administrator for Lagos State, stated that the incidents were mostly traced to fuel storage in apartments, use of candlelight, indiscriminate refuse and bush burning, electrical mishaps, arson and carelessness.

She said that taking adequate measures to prevent fire incidents was necessary to ensure incident-free celebrations during the festive period.

Windele highlighted the fire-prevention measures in the home to include avoiding clumsy decoration, carefully positioning Christmas tree, ensuring Christmas light wires are in good condition, avoiding sharp decorations, using functional fire alarms, and keeping alcohol intake to the barest minimum.

Furthermore, she advised residents to use artificial Christmas tree instead of the natural type.

“If you must use the natural type, get the one with fresh leaves instead of dry leaves,” she stressed.

Another facilitator, Mr Oluseye said that adequate safety response from residents was necessary instead of abandoning everything to the government.

He added that though it is the responsibility of the Lagos state government to plan and create awareness of emergency response for safety, residents have the responsibility of identifying threats to safety in their environment.