The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has emphasised the need for sellers of flammable materials to be segmented outside the markets to prevent fire outbreaks.
The Director-General (D-G) of FEMA, Alhaji Idriss Abbas, made the suggestion in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, while reacting to the recent tragic kerosene surface tank fire explosion at Kubwa village market that claimed 10 lives.
He said the suggestion is in furtherance of the resolve by FEMA to reduce fire outbreaks and other disasters to the barest minimum in the FCT.
Abbas also advised market managers to centralise the use of generators in the markets and shopping malls.
The D-G also urged marketers to desist from dispensing kerosene and fuel from surface tanks to avert reoccurrence of disasters.
He blamed most fire incidents in FCT on human errors such as illegal connection of electrical appliances, storage of fuel in shops, sale of flammable materials near people selling food and unauthorised places, thereby endangering lives and properties.
He revealed that five lives were lost on the day of the fire incident, while additional five were lost the following day at the National Hospital, bringing the number of fatalities to 10 lives lost.
According to him, among those that lost their lives include a pregnant woman, and two children of the same family.
He, therefore, advised residents, shop owners, and shopping malls to desist from acts that are inimical to safety in and around them, especially as “we are approaching the harmathan season”.
The D-G enjoined the Abuja Market Management Authority Ltd. (AMML) to implement the fire code that stipulated that the public and private building should install smoke detectors and fire alarms, and also ensure the market have at least a Fire Hydrant, Hose Reel, and other fire defense equipment at strategic point in the market the markets.”
The FEMA boss commended all the stakeholders, including the Nigerian Police NSCDC, NEMA Federal Fire Service, FCT Fire Service and other relevant stakeholders, for their combined efforts in containing the inferno within the shortest period of time.
He encouraged residents to be safety conscious regardless of the type of business they are into.
He also commended the FCT Commissioner of Police for his active collaboration and good intention to get to the remote cause(s) of the inferno.
While sympathizing with the families of the victim of the fire, the D-G urged shop owners to always call the 112 toll free emergency number for quick response to any fire outbreak or any disaster.
He noted that it was only through prompt response that effective disaster management can be achieved.
He also tasked residents to cooperate with the FCT Administration in its efforts to reduce disaster by being safety conscious at all times.
The D-G emphasised the need for all hands to be on deck to report any emergency cases promptly so as to enable the agency to respond properly and effectively.