LAGOS – With the sight of more tall buildings in Nigeria and recent fire incidents the Chief Executive Officer of Surveillant Fire Limited, Mr. Adejola Jumade has asked the government to pay attention to fire safety measures to forestall disasters.
Speaking during a 2-days Tall Building Fire Safety Conference in Lagos, Jumade said that globally there have been several cases of tall building casualties in recent time which raise a concern as regard how conscious and prepared the country is for such eventualities.
He noted that preparedness starts with design and enforcement of regulations, saying, “when you talk of disaster, the first thing is design. What are the steps we take to ensure that the design we have for tall buildings are tailored towards safety?
“Beside that, government agencies like Physical and Urban Planning need to ensure that mechanical and electrical design are looked into critically to ensure that the fire design they have tailor to curtain fire in case of any issue.”
While calling for more partnership and collaboration for fire fighters in the country to enable optimal performance Jumade identified the need for more investment in Fire Service.
Her words, “Honestly speaking, the fire fighters are trying their best with the limited capacity and facility they have. The local, state and federal agencies need to work together to ensure that people that need to follow regulation do so. Interagency rivalry needs to stop; we need serious collaboration.”
On his part, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said that the Federal government is working out modalities for armed escort for firemen on assignment to deter touts and miscreants attack.
His words, “There is the unique challenge of touts and miscreants attacking firemen and their equipment in a fire scene. This is deplorable. We are working out modalities for armed escort for firemen on assignment to deter these undesirable elements.”
Aregbesola who was represented by the Acting Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr. Samson Karebo disclosed that the government procured DG54 Aerial Platform Fire Fighting Truck with 54 metres height capacity to reach the 18th floor of high-rise buildings, saying, “It is stationed in Lagos where we have the largest concentration of high rise buildings in Nigeria.
“We are also working with the Nigeria Air Force to be able to deploy planes for aerial fire bombing of bushfires, high rise buildings or other wildfires requiring aerial attacks. Between 2015 and 2020, the Federal Government provided 106 modern firefighting trucks to the FSS.
“Last year, the Federal Executive Council also approved an infrastructure upgrade consisting of 44 firefighting engines, 15 water tankers, 15 rapid intervention fire engines (not conventional ones) that can go into the nooks and crannies to respond to distress-calls and 20 basic life support ambulances.”
Corroborating his views, the Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Mrs. Margaret Abimbola Adeseye appealed to Nigerians to be very conscious of things that can trigger fire outbreak, “endeavor to switch off all electrical gadgets after use. We advised that people should be careful with cooking in the marketplace. Some people will leave their iron on the table without removing it from the socket. When electricity comes back it can result in a fire outbreak.”
She called for more understanding with fire fighters saying it is not acceptable to attack firefighters, “regrettably, in some cases hoodlum used to attack firefighters without putting into consideration the distance they are coming from.
“To tackle some of these challenges, the state government has commenced the renovation of 16 fire service stations with construction of an additional five fire service stations. This is first of its kind that I am witnessing in my 25 years in service. This will help us to address the challenges of proximity.”