Fire Service expresses readiness to tackle emergencies in Harmattan season
By Cynthia Okere, Lagos
The Federal Fire Service has expressed readiness to ensure safety and tackle any emergency fire outbreak during the forthcoming harmattan season.
The Assistant Controller-General Zone F Lagos, Chika Njoku, said their focus is on safeguarding lives and properties as climate-related incidents continue to rise in Nigeria.
Njoku who was speaking during a fire safety awareness campaign flag-off in Lagos explained that there is always a surge in fire outbreaks during the Harmattan Season hence the need for precautions.
He said the service has procured more modern equipment as part of their preparation and readiness to serve the people better during the harmattan period.
‘‘We are now in Ember months, the months that we experience greater number of fire outbreaks. You can agree with me that since we entered these ember months, we have experienced numbers of fire incidents. Very soon, we will have harmattan. It’s a time we have dryness in the atmosphere, any little mistake, ignition will take place. There is need to get prepared so that we will be able to face this period squarely,’’ he explained.
Njoku gave some fire safety tips to help the general public tackle the growing risks of fire outbreaks during the harmattan season while urging everyone to guide against unsafe practices and adhere strictly to the tips.
‘‘During this period and beyond, we advise that;
-You should not buy and store petrol in your houses or offices.
-Avoid scooping petrol when a tanker falls because you may not be able to escape if ignition occurs.
-Don’t overload your electrical socket.
-Use competent electricians for electrical repairs.
-If you are cooking, stay nearby.
-Stop bush burning of all forms.
-Stop children from playing with matches or naked fire.
-Fire crackers like Knockouts should not be used anyhow.
-Have your firefighting equipment like fire extinguishers in your houses and cars and service them always,’’ he admonished.
Giving the statistics of fire outbreaks the command received and attended to from January to October, the Assistant Controller-General said that the Fire service recorded twelve deaths in fire incidents between January and October in Zone F, comprising Lagos and Ogun states.
According to him, one hundred and thirty-three persons were saved in two hundred and sixteen fire incidents, alongside property estimated at twenty-three point one billion naira, within the zone, during the 10 months period.
Mr. Njoku said that property valued at four point seven billion naira were lost to fire in the zone while one hundred and eighty other persons were rescued from different disasters within the same period.