Of recent there has been news of a fire disaster in Niger state polytechnic, Zungeru, Niger state. Report has it that the fire disaster destroyed properties worth more than N150 million (See full details ). There have been different kinds of fire disaster within the country. There have always been a recovery measures to curtail the effect of the effect of the fire disaster, but the most important steps has not been taken most times because the right questions has not been asked.
The most important question after such incidence are:
- What went wrong
- How do we prevent reoccurrence.
Most of our institutions do not have a fire emergency plan, some institutions that have a fire emergency plan do not have implementation officers.
Fire is a rapid combustion reaction involving oxygen, fuel and an ignition source, and its output are heat, smoke or flames.
Fire always begin in an infant phase before maturing to full flames. Hence in the presence of a fire emergency plan and implementation officers, the fire can either be put out in that infant stage or the effect of the fire limited.
It is unfortunate that fire extinguishers are installed in our institutions but no one knows how to operate them (Learn how to operate the fire extinguisher). Sand pails are kept at strategic positions, but no one understands its essence.
It is not enough to have a fire emergency plan, you still need implementation officers, i.e, people who will help you implement the emergency plan in cases of fire emergency. These implementation officers could be fire wardens, fire watch, etc. They can be employed directly, or some members of staff trained to take up the responsibility.
After every fire incident, thorough investigation should be carried out to unravel the root cause; then corrective measures taken to prevent its reoccurrence. These corrective measures aside from the palliative measures to arrest the immediate cause of the incident, other measures could involve; drawing out a fire emergency plan if there was none, reviewing the current fire emergency plan or recruiting/ training implementation officers for the fire emergency plan.
Institutions fire emergency plan should be communicated to everyone, including the students. Everyone should know the fire emergency route, muster point, emergency numbers to call, etc. A timely arrest of the situation can make a whole lot of difference.
Let us adopt the safety of life and properties as an integral part of the system. Let us avoid regression by always looking for recovery measures instead of a progressive plan. Let us make our institutions safe from fire disaster by having a workable fire emergency plan today.