The Chief Executive Officer of Surveillant Fire Limited, Mr. Adejola Jumade has admonished the government to pay more attention to fire safety measures to forestall any casualties as Nigerians begin to embrace tall buildings.
Jumade stated this while speaking during a 2-days Tall Building Fire Safety Conference in Lagos.
He said that globally there have been several cases of tall building casualties in recent times which raise a concern and a note of warning that Nigeria must prepare to avoid such eventualities.
He said that preparedness starts with the design and enforcement of regulations.
He said: “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 is tailored toward safety?
“Aside from that, government agencies like Physical and Urban Planning need to ensure that mechanical and electrical design is looked into critically to ensure that the fire design they have tailored to curtain fire in case of any issue.
While calling for more partnership and collaboration for firefighters in the country to be able to perform optimally, Jumade identified the need for more investment in Fire Service.
“Honestly speaking, the firefighters 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 regulations do so. Inter agency rivalry needs to stop; we need serious collaboration.”
On his part, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said that the federal government is working out modalities for an armed escort for firemen on assignment to deter touts and miscreants attack.
“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 an armed escort for firemen on assignment to deter these undesirable elements.
Aregbesola who was represented by the then Acting Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr. Samson Karebo disclosed that the government procured DG54 Aerial Platform Fire Fighting Truck with 54 meters height capacity to reach the 18th floor of high-rise buildings, “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 firebombing of bush fires, 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 infrastructure upgrade comprising 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 gadget after use. We advised that people should be careful with cooking in market place. Some people will leave their iron on the table without remove it from socket when electricity come back it can result in fire outbreak.
He called for more understanding with fire fighters says it’s not acceptable to attack fire fighters, “regrettably, in some cases hoodlum use to attack fire fighters without put into consideration the distance they are coming from.
“To tackle some of these challenges, the state government have commence the renovation of 16 fire service stations with construction of addition five fire service stations. This is first of its kind that am witnessing in my 25 years in service. This will help us to address the challenges of proximity.”