By Bose Adelaja
No fewer than 150 traders in Lagos State have benefited from the sensitization programme organized by a safety and health consultancy firm Altitude Group Health Safety Environment Team in the state.
The programme which drew participants from the major market in Ijora area of the state, was aimed at averting fire outbreaks in markets.
The Lead Officer of the group Rolake Odusi said the programme was organized to curb incessant fire outbreaks that have sent many traders out of business and their children out of school due to the losses they incurred as a result of the fire outbreaks.
While teaching the participants on possible causes of fire outbreaks, she mentioned the basic precautionary measures on fire outbreaks such as the need to ensure provision of fire blankets, extinguishers and proper storage of petroleum products.
Also, they were taught to avoid the use of substandard electrical materials and remove obstructions like displaying of wares on access roads within the market for accessibility to the market especially during emergencies.
Odusi said availability of water in the market is a must for immediate solution in case of emergencies.
She advised them to avoid the use of naked fire as much as possible. She said, “setting refuse on fire is not advisable as this has led to major fire outbreaks in some markets. Also, importantly, security men in the markets should relate with safety and fire services officers in case of fire outbreaks at night.”
The Lead Officer lamented that some fire disasters recorded so far were avoidable if only traders had applied precautionary measures, “the economic development of Nigeria most especially in Lagos State is our primary concern and we don’t want incessant fire outbreaks in our markets again. People should be careful in handling fire because it can lead to major disasters that can send many out of businesses.” Said Odusi.
Responding on behalf of the traders, the Iya Oloja General of Apapa, Alhaja Hafusat Popoola appreciated the good gesture of the team and their practical demonstration on how to use fire extinguishers and blankets.
She promised that the traders will take proactive steps against fire outbreaks by applying the measures as spelt out by the team.