Mr Martin Agbili, the Director, Anambra Fire Service, has urged residents of the state to have a fire safety management plan in addition to fire extinguishers at home and workplaces during the harmattan period.

Agbili told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Thursday that the call became necessary now that people could also be tempted to store petrol at home, to check scarcity.

“We are in the dry season of the year and it is the harmattan period. I want to use this opportunity to urge Anambra residents to handle naked fires with care, they should avoid things that can cause fires, as they can be prevented.

“Now that there is fuel scarcity, people should not hoard or store fuel in their homes.

“The use of knockouts should be highly discouraged, if you must use candles, please ensure you place them on a metal base and if there are bushes around your house, church, market and office, clear it to a minimum of five feet, so that in the event of a fire, it can be checked before it inflames your building.

“There is need for people to plan for fire safety management, this will minimise outbreaks. They should arm themselves with fire extinguishers in their cars, offices and homes, that is the first aid treatment in the event of a fire outbreak,’’ he said.

Agbili said people should avoid the temptation of storing petrol in their homes and be more careful in the use of fireworks, if they must do so.

He said the people’s surroundings should be cleared of bushes, while they shun negative practices such as bush- burning during the harmattan.

While warning the residents that lit candles should be placed on metal surfaces, the director said everybody should also take precautionary measures against acts that could cause fire outbreaks.

Agbili assured the people that the Fire Service in the state was ready to respond to distress calls in the event of fire outbreaks anywhere within the state, provided that the department received timely information from the public.

He thanked the state governor for equipping the fire service department in the state and re-positioning it for efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Anambra Fire Service is prepared to fight fire outbreaks anywhere, all we need is to be notified on time.

“I want to thank Gov. Willie Obiano and the Commissioner for Utilities who have ensured that all our fire-fighting equipment remain in good shape.

“Our trucks are capable of reaching anywhere in the state, in good time,’’ he added.

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