Mercy Hill and Alexander Johnson Adejoh
Engr Martin Agbili, the Director and Chief Fire Officer of Anambra State Fire Service, who doubles as the Chairman, Nigeria Society of Engineers, (NSE) has urged Anambrarians to ensure they switch off all electrical appliances before leaving their houses to avoid preventable fire outbreaks.
Engr Agbili made the call in an exclusive interview with Fides in his office in Awka, last Thursday, while discussing factors that brought about his recent appointment as the Regional Coordinator of the International Fire Fighters Day in Africa.
The veteran Fire fighter said that 80 percent of fire incidents in the state were as a result of negligence on the part of residents, noting that such regrettable acts and negative habits must be checked.
‘While we stay at home because of the pandemic, it is important that we look into these things because people are mostly bored and would not mind watching television programmes all through the night till they sleep off, leaving their electrical gadgets turned on.
‘This act is very dangerous, because when there is a power surge, the next thing is a fire outbreak, he said.
The Fire Service boss, while expressing his dismay in what he described as avoidable mistakes, once more urged the citizenry, particularly shop owners, to desist from the attitude of always leaving their refrigerators on while outside their shops.
He noted also that fire outbreaks mostly escalated not only to the household or office using the refrigerator, but extended and engulfed an entire neighbourhood.
He pointed out that the best way to prevent fire outbreaks was to adhere to safety rules.
Furthermore, he advised Anambarians not to store fuel or equipment that contained inflammable materials inside their homes, but keep them in separate, cool stores.
Engr Agbili, while thanking the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, for all his ‘endless support to the Fire Service sector’, said that Anambra State had the best fire fighting equipment and fighters in the South East.
He expressed his belief that his appointment as the Regional Coordinator of Fire Fighters Day in Africa by the founder of International Fire Fighters Day, IFFD, Mrs J.J. Edmundson, was a credit to Anambra, noting that Anambarians were known for good leadership qualities.
He said that he would be trusting God to unite fire fighters in Africa, using his recent appointment.
Agbili also added that fire fighters across the globe needed to be more recognized and appreciated for their humanitarian service.
According to him, the Fire Service Active Emergency numbers in Anambra State remained Office of the Fire Service Director: 09077044410, HQRTS Fire Station 09077411503, Amawbia Fire Station 09077744072 / 07081877775, Govt. House Fire Station 09077744099, Nnewi Fire Station 09077744182, Building Mkt Ogidi 09077744390 / 08086630033, Okpoko Fire Station 09077744515 / 08060706265, Main Mkt Onitsha 09077744547 / 07081877770, Nkpor Fire Station 09077744685, and Ekwulobia Fire Station 09077744785.