The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is committed to finding a lasting solution to the recurrent fire outbreaks and their implications in homes and markets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Director-General (D-G)of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, stated this at an emergency coordination meeting on fire prevention and mitigation in the territory, held on Wednesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the emergency meeting was necessitated by the fire outbreaks in Kubwa, Karmo and Nyanya markets.
Idriss said experience has shown that the dry season is a fertile period for fire outbreaks in homes, markets and other public places due to the prevailing weather condition and nature of vegetation that makes bush burning easier.
The D-G said that some fire incidents, especially in markets, are wilful acts carried out by hoodlums to pave the way for looting.
He said that fire incidents occur in various ways, some with hidden motives, including intent to breach security, which “we must all try to stem the tide.
“The Federal Capital Territory Administration, in the light of these worrisome issues, considers this meeting as strategic for finding lasting solutions to the recurrent seasonal fire outbreaks and their implications.
“We are to carefully identify markets in the FCT that are prone to incessant fire outbreaks and analyse the causes as well as solutions,” he said.
The D-G enjoined the Abuja Markets Management Ltd. to ensure regular fire surveillance, put in place and maintain rapid response measures.
He urged Market Traders Association to take greater responsibility for the safety of markets.
“It is a duty of the management of Abuja Markets leadership to ensure that operators in the market through traders association are educated on fire risk and are also carried along in all programmes and activities aimed at ensuring fire safety,” Idriss said.
He also advised FCT residents to equip their homes with fire safety equipment for emergency response.
Earlier, the Acting Director, FCT Fire Service, Mr Sanni Saidu, said unorganized markets had been a serious threat to fire safety in the territory.
He enjoined Abuja residents to be more safety conscious by switching off all appliances before leaving their homes or offices.
Also, the acting Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Ltd., Alhaji Ibrahim Uzaibat, said the management would ensure that every shop will have fire extinguishers and train traders on how to use them in case of any fire incident. (NAN)