Nigeria loses N28.7bn to fire in 2018

Property worth over N28.7billion were lost to various fire disasters nationwide in the year 2018, Blueprint has gathered.

Similarly, eight lives were reportedly lost during the period under review, while items worth more than N1.7 trillions in the same year, were recovered from the various fire disasters.

Disclosing this in an exclusive interview with Blueprint correspondents in Abuja, Public Relations Officer of the Federal Fire Service (FFS), DSF Anani Danlami, said the year 2018 was a successful one for the agency, as it was able to record so many achievements.

“A total estimated property lost in the year 2018 is about N28, 706 billion, while the total estimated properties saved were about N1.734, 109 trillion. The number of lives lost was eight.

“In the year 2018, we received additional fire fighting water tenders and water tankers, and fire gadgets that were deployed to various geo-political zones. We also expanded our presence to all geo-political zones.”

“On training, fire men were trained internationally and locally. Promotion of staff and proper placement was done. We also had collaboration with the California Fire Department in the United States of America (USA), and signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Defence Academy, to run a Masters Programme on Disaster Management at our Fire Academy.

“A mobile App was introduced in 2018, Fire Alert System (FAS). This is to be installed in homes so that in case of fire outbreak, the app will alert our control room and the occupant of the building.

“That same year, the Fire Academy witnessed expansion with latest Fire Fighting Gadgets and erection of Fire House and Library,” he further stated.

When asked on the agency’s expectations for the year 2019, Danlami said: “The Federal Fire Service is expected to increase its personnel, expand and take delivery of more fire fighting equipments.”

On ensuring further efficiency, he said “the agency has plans to send more personnel to both foreign and local training so that its personnel will be conversant with modern day fire fighting methods, and vigorously carry out the FAS campaign by making sure the app is installed in homes for easy and fast response to any emergency that may occur.

“We will also carry out more safety campaign awareness so as to minimize fire outbreaks. The best approach to fire fighting is fire prevention. Therefore, one of the cardinal plans for 2019 is to make sure we educate the public on safety measures so as to lessen our work of combating fire.”

The FFS spokesman, however, urged Nigerians to comply with the fire safety and building code.

“Nigerians should familiarise themselves with the Fire Service Emergency Number. They should ensure that electrical appliances are switched off when not in use. They should carry out holistic Fire Risk Assessment at their premises to identify inherent fire hazards, such as defective electrical installations.

“Nigerians should desist from bad smoking habit. Ignition sources should be handled with caution and children should not be allowed to handle ignition sources such as matches and so on.

“And lastly, defective cooking equipments should not be used in the kitchen. Periodically, they should test their fire installations to ascertain its activeness,” Danlami also advised.

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