…As stakeholders call for caution

By Kingsley Adegboye

Eaton, a global power management company, has identified the need for a stringent policy on the administration of the Fire Code as the solution to incessant electrical fire outbreaks in commercial and residential buildings in Nigeria.

This was the submission at a one-day stakeholders’ Roundtable on Safety in Buildings  in Lagos organised by Eaton Nigeria to discuss fire incidents in commercial and residential buildings.

The roundtable which deliberated on enhancing electrical safety in buildings featured safety experts from the Lagos State Safety Commission, Lagos Fire Service, Association of Consulting Engineers, Eaton fire solutions experts, the media and other stakeholders.

Setting the tone of the discussion, Mr. Charles Iyo, Eaton West Africa’s Regional Manager, said:“Incidents of electrical fire in homes and commercial buildings is a growing concern everywhere in the world and it is one of the major causes of injuries, loss of property and even death.

As stakeholders, it is important that we begin to take more than a cursory look at fire safety measures right from the planning to the completion stage of building projects.” In his submission, Director of Safety Training and Education, Lagos State Safety Commission, Adebiyi Adeyinka  who lamented the high rate of fire outbreaks in homes and commercial property, called for a proactive strategy to minimise risks and enhance fire safety in buildings.

Adeyinka said: “Every building must have a fire safety policy that must be available to the occupants within the premises clearly stipulating preventive measures for fire incidents.

The role of government is to support with laws and regulations governing fire safety. However, every individual or corporation must be willing and ready to comply with the national building code.”

Peter Ewesor, an engineer from Nigerian Electricity Management Service, identified the existence of substandard electrical equipment as a key challenge to be tackled decisively if fire outbreaks in buildings are to become a thing of the past. According to him: “As long as there are cheap and substandard alternatives, every other solution may fail.”

He therefore stressed the need to close-mark the borders and ensure substandard goods are not allowed to come into the country.

Sumaya Abdool, Head, Marketing, Eaton Africa reiterated the commitment of the company to an all-round safety policy, pointing out that “Safety doesn’t happen by accident. At Eaton, we are continually engineering and implementing safer products and processes to protect people, buildings and reputation using innovative technologies to solve some of our country’s challenges when it comes to safety in buildings.”

Abdool further expressed the commitment to engaging and uniting with associations and regulatory bodies to promote best practices towards ensuring that fire incidents become a thing of the past.


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