The Kaduna State Fire Service on Wednesday said it recorded 523 fire outbreaks including 65 deaths in 2019, saving the state an estimated N199 billion worth of goods.
The State Director of Fire Service, Paul Aboi disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“The efforts of the Kaduna State Fire Service saved the state over N199 billion worth of goods while properties destroyed are estimated at N58 billion from over 523 fire outbreaks in the state between January and December 2019,” he said.
Aboi noted that the record was garnered from cases of fire outbreaks in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan zones, with its major causes affiliated to ignorance and careless use of electric appliances.
“Carelessness of residents is a major cause. I hope that the advocacy programme being embarked upon by the state government will help correct the anomaly and ultimately reduce fire incidents to the barest minimum,” he said.
He said in the course of responding to fire distress calls, the office rescued 63 persons alive, 141 injured while 65 persons died stating that the service was doing its best to reduce and bring fire disaster in the state to the barest minimum.
The director said the Fire Prevention Unit of the service had been going to houses, offices, schools, markets and worship centres to sensitise people to fire preventive measures and what to do in case of an outbreak.
He enjoined the citizenry to quickly contact the service at first instance of fire outbreak and not after an unsuccessful effort to put off the fire. This action he said was reliable to escalate damages and loss of property.
Aboi, however, warned residents to be careful during the dry season as the period was prone to fire disaster, saying fire usually rage out of control during the period; December to April as stated.
In a recent call by the Fire Service, citizens were asked to constantly use the emergency numbers to alert the services rather than use its Twitter handle.
The services said, “Every Nigerian should have our numbers, 08032003557, 112. It is better to call the direct lines than to tweet in an emergency situation”.
Nigeria in 2019 had experienced sad incidences of fire outbreaks with records showing largely the loss of lives and properties.
The incidence of a tanker explosion around the Upper Iweka axis of Onitsha, Anambra State that turned into “a black day” for the residents of the commercial city with the lives, properties burnt to ashes is a highlight of 2019
Similarly, a fire outbreak at the popular Balogun market in Lagos razed down multiple complex buildings destroying goods and properties worth several millions.
In a report by the Daily Trust published in November 2019, the incessant outbreaks of fire in Nigeria were attributed to several causes including, erratic power surges; illegal electrical connection; improper electrical fittings; substandard electrical materials; bulk of petroleum product been transported across dilapidated roads; poor responsiveness of the service to fire scene etcetera.
Yet, the report pointed out the need to review the Fire Service Act of 1963 to inculcate partly, the privatization of the sector to enable an optimal operation of the system.
It emphasised the need for a general overhauling, re-engineering, and repackaging of the Federal Fire Service.