Avoid Bush Burning, Be-careful With Fuels, Turn Off Electrical Appliances As Fire Ravages The Country.
The warnings by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Environment Ministry were treated with kid gloves by many state governments except the State of Osun until floods swept away many lives and properties.
As those affected with the floods are still grasping with the sour tales left on their lips, the dry season spell set in with its attendant disasters – fire.
Like NIMET, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had earlier inaugurated a technical committee to map out the most vulnerable areas to fire outbreak.
The committee was the agency’s early preparation against possible future re-occurrence of national disaster including bush and market fire during the harmattan.
NEMA’s Head of Public Relations, Yaushau Shuaib, who spoke to The Nation on the rising wave of fire disasters in the country, said the agency had mobilised stakeholders and volunteers in the likelihood of massive fire incidents in markets, farmlands and forests due to indiscriminate storage of inflammable and bush burning.
He said: “NEMA has already developed a National Contingency Plan to guide timely response to any sudden onset emergency in the country.
“Within the last 24 hours teams from NEMA, fire-fighters and other response agencies have been able to respond to different fire incidents in the country within its available resources.
“In most cases, the agencies in a well-coordinated collaboration, utilise the services of trained volunteers to assist on the seeming overwhelming incident of fire outbreaks in the New Year.
“NEMA had in December 2012 warned of likely outbreak of fire incidents in the New Year from mishandling of inflammable that could be triggered by the current weather condition Harmattan/Dry Season among others.
The Federal and Lagos State Fire Service agencies ascribed the surge in fire outbreaks to the weather condition.
Both agencies, in separate interviews, said there was always high rate of fire incidence during the dry season, adding that the harmattan wind also triggers the upsurge.
Assistant Controller, Operational Command, Lagos, Mr. Ganiyu Olayiwole, said the three constituents of fire – oxygen, heat and combustible – usually meet in the dry season.
He said: “There is great intensity of heat this time. The weather is hotter than usual.
“And you know we have three elements that constitute fire which are oxygen, combustible and heat.
“During the wet season, we do not have heat. As such, there are limited cases of inferno.
“But because we have the three elements at the same time, there is usually friction which results to fire.”
To stem the tide, Olayiwole urged Nigerians to avoid the combination of the three elements.
He recommended proper ventilation at homes and offices as panacea.
The Lagos Fire boss, Rasaq Fadipe, residents should always turn off all electrical appliances at homes and offices when not in use.
Besides, he cautioned against bush burning.
Many Fire outbreak has been recorded in the last 48 hrs like:
48 hrs like:
Explosions rocked Apapa – the Lagos port town– yesterday, as fire hit a barge at the Tin Can Island. The explosions occurred as the MRS barge (oil tank) was discharging fuel into a tank on a jetty at the port. The entire area was shaken by the explosions, which were immediately followed by a huge fire that sent plumes of smoke into the air.
Another one here: A section in the palace of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, was razed on Wednesday morning.
Yet another one from Abia: A PETROL station, Okozak, at Uzuakoli in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State was yesterday gutted by fire which consumed goods and properties worth millions of naira. However, no life was lost in the fire disaster that consumed the station and a bus that was refueling. The incident reportedly occurred when a 33,000 litre tanker truck was discharging petrol at the station.
Another sad one from Imo: A MYSTERIOUS fire, which engulfed a house in Ubachima, Awo-Omamma in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, yesterday killed an expectant mother and her two-year-old daughter.
Yet another sad one: A PROPERTIES worth millions were yesterday destroyed following an inferno that razed a building at Umuekwo quarters, Asaba, Delta State capital. The fire, according to an eyewitness, started from the upper part of the building and destroyed all the properties. A source blamed the fire on the storage of petrol (Petroleum Motor Spirit) in the building by the property owner to fuel his generator. A widow was said to have occupied the upper part of the building with her children.
Hence these are to disastrous to start a new year, we want to implore our people to take serious precautions to avoid the avoidable fire out breaks in the country.
With additional information from The Nation.