Over 20 public and private buildings have experienced different forms of fire accidents this year, the Nigerian government said on Friday.
Sadiya Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, made the declaration in Abuja during a fire exit drill by her ministry in commemoration of the 2020 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
She disclosed that the fire exit/evacuation drill sought to facilitate effective and efficient use of the exit facilities at disposal during emergency situations, adding that the drills would guarantee proper exit under control and prevention of panic, which had caused loss of lives in major fire disasters.
“What we have just done is remarkable, considering the series of incidences of fire disasters in public and private buildings in Nigeria.
“In 2020 alone, we have witnessed more than 20 fire incidents in both public and private buildings.
“Experience and research have shown that panic, stampede and smoke inhalation rather than burns from fire have been responsible for loss of lives in the major fire disaster history.”
According to her, 13th October of every year is recognised by the United Nations for promoting awareness, enlightening the public and mustering political will and resources towards minimising disaster risk around the world.
“Today, we are translating the call for disaster risk reduction into action and departing from the normal rhetoric in making international days with speeches.
“Hence, the ministry has organised this simulated fire exit drill which focused on raising awareness among public and private organisations as well as mitigating the risks of fire especially in the high rising buildings.”
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