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New dawn begins

Written By : Source: NATIONAL FIRE AUTHORITY . While the year 2010 concluded with festivities there were others who could not escape the unpredictability of fires which has left them
01 Jan 2011 12:00

Written By : Source: NATIONAL FIRE AUTHORITY .

While the year 2010 concluded with festivities there were others who could not escape the unpredictability of fires which has left them homeless.
The stigma caused by fire has left some with sorrow and pain which will haunt them for the rest of their life.
Fires are considered to be one of the most dangerous elements and every year many homes are burnt to the ground and families lose their hard-earned belongings, life-time savings, precious and valuable items to fires.
In year 2010, National Fire Authority (NFA) attended 215 structural fires. The number of death from structure fires in 2010 stands at 6.
With too many homes burned up in our communities in year 2010, people can no longer ignore FIRE SAFETY as most of these fire incidents could have been prevented.
The challenge for the New Year has been put to NFA by the line Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua to reduce the number of fires attended to in 2010 by at least 50 per cent.
“As our country is rapidly developing, we need public support to reduce the structural fires by 50 per cent in 2011”, NFA Chairman Mr John Low said.
“Despite the horrific consequences of house fires, as well as the relative ease with which they can occur during both day and night, surprisingly few of us make regular safety checks around the house or plan fire safety preventative measures to avoid a fire disaster at home.
“Safety checks only take a few minutes and taking a small amount of time out of your day to acknowledge the real risk of fire could save your life and the lives of your loved ones”, Mr Low added.
“There are a few things you can do to prevent fires from damaging or destroying your home in the New Year”, NFA Chief Executive Officer Mr Jone Koroi said.
“Strategies are put in place by the Authority this year to reduce the structural fires in the New Year.
“One of the strategies in progress is the fire safety awareness which will continue in this new year”.
“We all need to keep fire safety in mind constantly to ensure that our homes are fire safe. Paying attention to fire safety and fire prevention measures will protect and also minimize the number of homes from burning up into ashes”.
“Each individual has to promote fire safety at home first and this will have a multiplier effect at community level and national level.
“The same concept is being applied to businesses where building owners and business owners need to ensure that their properties comply with fire safety standards.
“The property owners are also encouraged to practice fire safety and have all their staff engaged in fire safety training and fire evacuation drills”, Mr Koroi said.
Everyone ought to know fire safety preventative measures such as: avoid overloading electrical power points, never leave your kitchen until the food is cooked and the stove turned off, keep matches and lighters away from children, place candles, diyas, lanterns, mosquito coils away from beddings, curtains and other flammable materials.
“For property owners, NFA advises periodical checks on your property’s electrical wiring by an FEA-certified electrical contractor and ensure that appropriate circuit breakers are installed in the meter boxes and that all wirings are placed in proper conduits to avoid the exposure of naked wires to the effects of weathering or from being eaten by rats and other pests”, Mr Koroi said.
“People can also install smoke detectors in their homes for early detection of fires, keep a fire blanket in the kitchen as a fire safety device that will help to quickly extinguish small incipient fires, or keep a fire extinguisher to put out the fire at its initial stage”.
“There is also a major cause for concern in homes which have burglar grills.
“People are advised to ensure that there is an escape plan in place which is known to all the occupants of the house and also regularly practiced to avoid any fatalities in the event of a fire.
“The general public need to cooperate and work together with NFA in preventing unnecessary fires from occurring in the first place.
However, should a fire occur in your homes or properties, please immediately alert the fire brigade by calling 911 quickly as soon as the fire starts which will enable the fire brigade to arrive early at the fire scene in order to save your property from destruction,” Mr Koroi said.
“Preparation is the key to a positive outcome.
“Planning in advance and discussing the risk of fire with all the members of your family can reduce a fire occurrence in the first place and also increase your chances of survival if one does break out”.
The most important things in life are the safety of our loved ones and the protection of our homes and belongings.
There are many products and services that one can use as homeowners to aid in security and safety.
“Even so, there is not anything that will completely eliminate the risk of a tragedy such as a house fire.
This can be one of the scariest moments any family ever has to go through and can leave emotional scars for years, if not forever.
“If we all work together and continue to support one another we will achieve our aims and get the best outcomes for our communities.
“To do this we all need to start at our own homes.
“Each individual has to promote fire safety at home first and this will have a multiplier effect at community level and national level”.
“The same concept is being applied to businesses where building owners and business owners are encouraged to practice fire safety and have all their staff engage in fire safety training and fire protection drills”, Mr Koroi added.
People should know about fire safety preventative measures and most importantly to call 911 for the Fire Brigade should a fire occur.
Also remember to give the exact address of the property on fire to the Fire Brigade



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