By Al-Mustapha Ado and Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
The Federal Fire Service, Kano Command has said that the major cause of fire outbreak bedeviling the country is as a result of carelessness of the citizens.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Fire Safety Awareness Campaign Week 2018, held in Kano recently, the officer-in-charge of Kano and Jigawa Federal Fire Service Command, Kassim Oyefole said 70 per cent of Nigerians lack basic knowledge of fire disaster management.
According to him, 30 per cent of those who have the knowledge of fire disaster management do not practice it, adding that they also do not keep fire extinguishing equipment in their environment.
He lamented that most of the causes of fire accident in the nation were caused by people as a result of carelessness, noting that a lot of sensitization needs to be carried out in order to mitigate the prevalence of the disaster, especially as the harmattan is fast approaching.
“We smoke carelessly in our houses, even inside rooms, in our beds. We keep matches anywhere that could be reached by children to play with. We don’t connect cooking gases properly. These are some of the carelessness that causes fire accident in our country,” he said.
He revealed that the body had enacted fire safety codes 2017, stressing that it would soon move for full implementation of the codes across the 36 states of the federation.
The officer added that the event, which was the second, held in the state, was organised to sensitize the public on safety measures in order to mitigate fire disasters.
Mr. Oyefole added that the event was also to educate the general public on fire safety measures, calling on all stakeholders to join hands in a bid to secure environment against fire outbreak.
“We are aware that without safety, there will be no development in a society. We need to rise against fire outbreak, otherwise our economic well-being will continue to diminish,” he said.
He revealed that the campaign is an annual weeklong event set aside to sensitise people and raise their consciousness on dangers of fire outbreak either at home or working place.
“The campaign was aimed at educating people on how to handle fire with basic fighting equipment so as to minimise the extent of fire outbreak damage,” he said.
He observed that all critical stakeholders such as National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Red Cross Society have role to play in public sensitization and enlightenment against fire outbreak.
According to him one cannot adequately discuss security issues without capturing fire disaster, as fire destroyed lives and properties.
In his address, the Federal Fire Service Zonal Commanding Officer in charge of Northwest Zonal Command, Mr. Thompson Muhammad described carelessness and accident as major causes of fire outbreak in the nation.
“People recklessly put gas cylinder in their kitchen, or put on a candle and fall asleep which in many instances causes fire outbreak at homes,” Mr. Muhammad said.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Alhaji Ibrahim Kabara acknowledged the contribution of the Federal Fire Service in putting off the series of fire accidents at schools, Sabongari and Kantin Kwari markets.
The campaign featured public sensitization at Kurmi Market, Hasiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital and Sa’datu Rimi College of Education and 10 kilometer walk.