The Controller General, Federal Fire Service (FFS), Engr Joseph Garba Anebi, says they are considering amending the Fire Service Act to enable them compel state governments to implement the fire safety code as part of strategy to reduce fire outbreaks in the country.
Engr Anebi, who lamented that a whooping N5.5 trillion had been lost to devastating fire outbreaks between 2013 and 2018, human lives not inclusive, stressed the need for states to implement the National Fire Safety Code to strengthen the fire services at the grassroots level.
The Fire boss made the disclosure at a press briefing organised to mark the 2018 International Fire Fighters’ Day (IFFD), yesterday in Abuja. International Fire Fighters’ day is observed, the world over, every May 4, in honour of firefighters who paid the supreme price in the line of their duty.
The Controller General, who was represented by the Assistant Controller General (ACG), Policy, Regulation and Inspection, Quintus Azogu, also announced that they lost six gallant officers in three years and reiterated the need for prompt state implementation fire code to enhance public safety.
He regretted that, “Many states are not implementing the fire safety code; over N5trn has been lost to fire in the last five years, excluding human lives which cannot be estimated. We may need to amend the Fire Service Act to compel states to implement the Fire Safety Code for national good.”
Engr Anebi, who canvassed for a standard operating procedure (SOP) that will provide fire fighters with optimal and safer methods of engaging fire, added that, fire fighters, by their vocation, work in the mist of hostile environment such as burning buildings and other places of related hazards.
While imploring Nigerians to pray for the souls of the heroes who died trying to save others from the menace of uncontrolled fires, he said, ‘FFS, under my watch, has ensured that the insurance and terminal benefits of the demised officers have been paid to their family members.”
He advised states to equip fire service agencies and prioritise the welfare of fire fighters for maximum productivity, harping that new and emerging challenges have further heightened the threats fire fighters face in the field.
He however, warned that the increased use of plastics in buildings comes with the consequences of contending with more smoke, toxic gases and higher temperature; all enhancing the rapid development of fire in buildings.
Recall that the International Fire Fighters Day (IFFD) was instituted after a proposal was forwarded through email across the World in January 4, 1999 following the deaths of five firefighters in a tragic circumstance in a wild fire in Australia on December 2, 1998.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that other tragic fire incidences that traumatised the world to note in this regard are the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack at the World Trade Centre in the United States of America (USA) where about 340 firefighters lost their lives as well as the Arizona Fire disaster that also claimed the lives of 19 firefighters in the USA .
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