The Director of Anambra Fire Service, Mr Martin Agbili, has called for collaborative efforts of relevant stakeholders in the prevention of fire outbreaks in the state.
Agbili told newsmen in Awka on Wednesday that there was need for integration of fire safety designs in the planning of buildings and cities in the state.
He said there had been an average of one fire outbreak a day since the last 40 days, blaming it on careless practices.
The director, who assumed office in December 2017, said the service was seeking the cooperation of Landlords, Town and Regional Planning Board, owners of filling stations and cooking gas plants and the media for a fire disaster-free state.
“As part of the policy of the service under my watch, we are interested in having all relevant stakeholders in the fire management system to key into the measures we have designed to prevent fire disaster.
“We have scheduled meetings with the stakeholders which are the landlords, planning board, filling station owners and also cooking gas plant owners to tell them how we can work together,’’ he said.
Agbili said that every household should have fire extinguisher and effectively know how to use it as it was the first fireman’s first aid equipment in the event of an outbreak.
He said most buildings in Anambra lacked fire safety designs, while the planning of some of the cities did not make for easy access to some locations where there is fire.
He called for increased awareness on the use of domestic cooking gas which, he said, had become the commonest source of fuel among households.
Agbili advised that gas cylinders be placed outside with periodic checks for leakage, adding that kitchen windows and doors should be opened for some time before gas could be ignited.
He described domestic gas accidents as generally tragic and blamed it on poor management and response at the initial stage of inferno.
“Most buildings lack fire safety design, they should have fire hose rails, smoke detectors, fire hydrants, extinguisher, sprinkler and be easily accessible,’’ he said.
Agbili commended Gov. Willie Obiano for providing more firefighting equipment for the service but decried the dearth of fire hydrants which had made them to rely on private water sellers.
“There is no functional fire hydrant in the state now; we had them when the public water works was working.
“Currently, we rely on buying water from borehole owners and it sometimes hampers our effectiveness due to time wasted in sourcing for the hydrants,’’ he said.