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FCT Fire Service bans traders from sleeping in markets to curb fire outbreaks

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Fire Service Department announced a new ban on traders sleeping in markets within the FCT to reduce fire incidents. The announcement was made by the acting director of the department, Mr. Adebayo Amiola, during a news conference in Abuja on Friday.

Amiola explained that the ban aligns with the department’s emergency jurisdiction mandates. He emphasized that the practice of traders sleeping in markets not only violated regulations but also posed significant risks to personal safety and property. “This development is very alarming and contributes to the high number of fire outbreaks we’ve seen in the FCT,” Amiola stated.
READ ALSO: Kano Fire Service saves 7 apartments from inferno

The FCT recorded 226 fire incidents between January and June, and Amiola noted that sleeping in markets, along with other careless human practices, significantly contributed to these incidents. To enforce the no-sleeping regulations, the Fire Service will advocate for alternative accommodations for traders.

Amiola pointed out that the construction of shanties within markets increases the risk of uncontrollable fires. He stressed that these makeshift structures not only contribute to disorder but also serve as fuel for fires. The department plans to demolish illegal shanties and conduct regular inspections to prevent their re-establishment.

“The disorganized layout of makeshift shops further compounds the challenges,” Amiola added. “Disorganized layouts impede movement and accessibility, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to navigate during crises. These issues extend to motor parks, where similar safety and organizational problems are prevalent.”

The fire service plans to replan and reorganize makeshift shops to ensure wide pathways and clear access points for emergency vehicles. Amiola also highlighted the inadequate number of fire hydrants in markets, which hampers effective emergency response. He stressed the importance of installing additional fire hydrants at strategic locations and ensuring their regular maintenance.

Another significant issue is the prevalence of incorrect electrical connections in markets. Amiola noted that many installations do not comply with safety standards, creating hazardous environments prone to electrical faults and sparks. “In recent times, we have witnessed devastating market fires that have wreaked havoc on businesses and livelihoods,” he said, citing the recent Karu Market fire outbreak as an example.

The department is also focusing on ensuring that all structures within the city are built to withstand environmental stresses and comply with safety standards. Amiola outlined a comprehensive strategy focusing on prevention and enforcement, involving organizations such as ministries, departments, agencies, market management, and other stakeholders.

“We have taken steps to enhance fire safety measures, such as the installation of additional fire hydrants and ensuring strict regulation of electrical installations,” Amiola explained. The department also plans to conduct massive awareness campaigns to educate traders and park users on safety practices, in collaboration with emergency agencies, organizations, and the media.

Regular drills and training for market and motor park stakeholders, along with the establishment of rapid response teams for emergencies, are part of the department’s strategy. Amiola called on all stakeholders, including traders, market authorities, and government agencies, to cooperate in implementing these proactive measures designed to prevent fire outbreaks

NAN

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