National Spokesperson and Lagos State Coordinator, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Engr. Timothy Iwuagwu, has advised the government to locate fire stations close to places where fire outbreaks are most anticipated. This he said will allow the fire service easy access to combat the fire.
Reacting to recent surge in fire outbreak in the country, Iwuagwu called for a review of the National Fire Safety Code of 2013 while speaking on News at 10, a Channels Television News programme.
Iwuagwu, a fellow of the institute, attributed the cause of late arrival of the fire service to scenes of fire incident to building of industries within residential areas and surge in population within the nation’s cities.
In his words:
“When we had the National Fire Safety Code in 2013, the people were very happy, but that code leaves a lot to be desired in implementation and interpretation.
“The code is not all about calling the first responders, emergency services. The code has a lot to do with structuring of the industrial environment, residential environment, and commercial environment; how to prevent fire from spreading and engulfing adjourning facilities when one facility is involved in fire.
“The code did not say much about how to go about implementation. The code has outlined a lot of things there, but we are looking at situations where industrial facilities are interwoven with residential facilities; so, estates are now involved in industrial activities and then if you look at it, the population is growing. Judging from this, how do you expect the fire service to come from a distance, very long distance to respond to the crisis?
“They government should site fire stations close to market places, close to where you expect fire incidents, this is because there must be impact assessment before you site certain things.”
He also stressed that the recent increase in fire outbreak is due to absence of consciousness among the people and low level of awareness, citing that there is a relationship between both.
“I think it is a very serious embarrassment on the government and the people of Nigeria because the rate of news on fire incidents across the states has become something of every week one incident.”
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