Have you ever wondered how is it that one match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire? One word separates the two instances…Carelessness.
Robert heddrick once said that a spark neglected makes a mighty fire. That’s the situation with fire incidences in Nigeria especially the ones that happen in the Lagos metropolis. In Lagos, fire takes no vacation neither does it go on a break; it’s a daily affair that even has ample time to erect a camp tent with no respect for any man; rich and poor alike. Fire just like water and government often times know nothing of mercy.
Fire incident is a recurring problem in Nigeria ‘that never says die’. Most cases of fire surge results from carelessness which makes the situation pathetic and heart-wrenching. It is a disaster that occurs daily, though many of such cases go unreported. The menace of fire incidents becomes thought-provoking owing to the fact that properties worth millions, sometimes billions are destroyed while lives are lost in most cases.
Fire is often described as the good servant but a bad master- difficult to control when it turns into inferno- as it wrath on, burning and scorching everything on its path.
As it has been the case yearly, 2015 has had its fair share of fire disasters. This past week was indeed ill-starred for some unfortunate Lagosians. The death toll from various unforeseen occurrences suggests it was indeed a dark week. From Lagos Island to Lekki, then Lawanson, fire made enemies with reckless abandon.
The recent house fire incident that occurred in Lawanson area of Lagos State, south-west Nigeria, which ended the lives of a family of seven including a six year old relative who died shortly after the incident from injuries sustained in the fire disaster quickly comes to mind.
According to eyewitness account, the fire which broke at about 11:30p.m could have been curtailed if the neighbours of the victims had responded to their cries for help. The attitude of the ‘so-called’ neighbours was indeed shocking to say the least.
Whatever the problem had been amongst the tenants, was it enough to condemn the unfortunate victims to such fate? These are human lives we are talking about here. I wouldn’t even wish that for my worst enemy that’s if I even have any….
Another recent fire disaster of note was the fire outbreak in the Lekki area of Lagos. The incident which occurred in the early hours of Monday, September 7, 2015 claimed the life of a 16 year old boy. He was burnt to death along with a duplex at Lekki area of Lagos in the early hours of Monday.
According to the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, the body of 16-year old Timehin was discovered at the bathroom roasted by fire. Three people were reportedly rescued from the inferno. Fadipe disclosed that the fire was caused by power surge after light was restored in the night to the area
This is one case too many. Fire is running amok on the citizenry. The situation is really alarming and worrisome.
Read also: 5 Members Of A Family Die In House Fire
In as much that the masses expect a rapid and more effective response to the various cases of fire incidents in the country, it is also essential that we are alert to the dangers of carelessness that may lead to fire outbreaks at home, work or in our environment, since majority of the fire disaster results from human error. Prevention they say is better than cure. Mentioned below are 7 possible human errors that can lead to an inferno.
The human errors that lead to fire surge include;
1. The habit of leaving appliances on while leaving the house for work. The same applies to workers when leaving the office after the close of work
2. Overloading electrical sockets which may instigate an electric spark that may lead to fire.
3. Why would anyone want to smoke in bed? Well…people who smoke in bed shouldn’t be surprised when there’s a fire outbreak minutes after they doze off while still with their cigarettes. There is a tendency to toss the butt anywhere while it is half lit. If that lands on the rug or mattress, the consequences can only be imagined.
4. In this era of phone and social media, many people go into the kitchen with their phones. The temptations are many. For one, an incoming call may provide a distraction too costly. A story is told of a lady who received a call as she attempted to light the gas. While speaking on the phone, she forgot the cooker had been switched on. With a strike of the match, flames engulfed the whole building.
5. Another human error that can lead to an inferno is refueling your generator at the same time it is generating power. This is a highly risky act!
6. Receiving calls and making them in a highly inflammable environment like a petrol station is another act that can make friends with fire at any appointed time. Mobile phones are emitters of small amount of charges that could explode in contact with petrol.
7. The most common human error that leads to fire disaster leaving many lives and properties completely charred has to be the carelessness resulting from the use of candles. Many homes that frequently use candles do so without a candle stand. We put candles and leave them beside curtains or clothes or even on tables made from wood. The candle may fall off or a nearby object may get burned.
So these are the 7 ways to start a fire.
Nonetheless, some fire outbreaks are caused by human beings with evil intent. However, to check the high frequency of fire surge the above mentioned sources of fire should be avoided.
Practice fire safety – watch what you heat. Fire has never being a friend, don’t be deceived!