By JOSEPHINE NAVULA
National Fire Authority (NFA) has attended to numerous house fires and commercial fires where access has been hindered by security devices and burglar bars.
CEO John O’Connor has highlighted NFA’s concern on property and commercial fire cases where NFA has had to spend a lot of time trying to enter the property because of security grills and locked security doors.
“This has greatly affected the effectiveness of our fire fighting,” he said.
While the NFA appreciate and understand the need for property owners to safeguard the security and safety of their families, their property, belongings and their savings, the NFA is concerned as such security arrangement is affecting the effectiveness of their firefighting and is also a risk to the members of the family.
“Such devices can also prevent you and your families from evacuating the property safely in case of a fire. Lives have been lost in the past because family members could not evacuate their properties safely since these burglar bars were locked and could not be opened quickly in case of a fire,” O’Connor said.
NFA is humbly reminding families where properties are installed with burglar bars to ensure that these burglar bars and security devices can be opened from inside the house.
O’Connor also said that all homes should have an evacuation plan and it is very important that all family members should discuss and understand the safest and quickest way to evacuate the property in case of a fire.
“If security device or burglar bars are locked from inside the property, NFA is urging families to make family members aware of the location of the key and that the key must be placed in an accessible spot near the door or windows,” he said.
The NFA advises people on the following strategies concerning deadlocks and security grills.