No fewer than 44 residential buildings and markets have been razed by fire in Anambra between December 2017 and April 2018, the State Director of Fire Services, Mr Martin Agbili, said yesterday in Akwa. According to him, the fire outbreaks had remained a big challenge in the state.
He identified the major cause of fire in the state as bush burning and careless handling of inflammable substances such as petrol in residential buildings. The fire service boss explained that accessibility to scenes of fire was also a big problem because of the way houses and markets were constructed.
In many cases when there is fire outbreak in the markets and residential areas, vehicular movement are often hindered because our people do not observe stipulated code while constructing houses or markets,’’ Agbili said.
He lauded his officials for their prompt response to distress calls and urged residents to always alert his office in the event of fire. The director also urged members of the public to observe fire safety measures to minimize such disasters.
Agbili indicated that his office intended to partner with the State Ministry of Physical Planning to enforce fire service rules for those erecting buildings. “We are targeting to ensure that every new building must observe fire safety rules by providing fire alarm and fire hose rail,” he said.
In addition, he said buildings, including residential, were expected to have smoke detectors, sprinklers as well as create easy access. Agbili advised landlords to insist that their tenants should purchase fire extinguisher, especially Co2 fire extinguisher.
He urged users of domestic gas in the homes to always open their windows and wait for at least 20 minutes while coming into the house before using it.