National Fire Authority (NFA) is concerned with the increasing number of home fires since the beginning of the year.
So far in 2013, NFA has attended to 17 property and small house fires.
NFA CEO John O’Connor highlighted that these 17 property fires were mostly caused by unattended cooking, lit candles, mosquito coils, electrical causes and arson related causes.
2013 Fire Causes are:
●Three Unattended Cooking house fires
●Two Lit Candle house fires
●Three Electrical related house fires
●One Prayer Diya commercial fire
●Two Arson commercial fire
●Four Arson house fires
Mr O’Connor highlighted that majority of these home fires could have been avoided if members of the communities took extra care.
“It is a great concern to NFA as these fire incidents could have been avoided, if members of the community had taken a bit of extra care.
Unattended Cooking: When cooking, never leave the cooking unattended. Home owners must always ensure that they put out all unattended cooking fires before leaving their homes. Home owners must also ensure that they practice good housekeeping fire safety measures at home in particularly in the kitchen you must keep the cooking appliances such as kerosene stove, gas or electrical stove, rice cookers and other equipment clean and they must be turned off after cooking or before leaving their homes.
The NFA CEO highlighted a recent kerosene stove fire incident where the kerosene stove was not put out properly and continued to burn until it exploded and burst into flames causing the house fire.
“It is very important that members of the community keep their kerosene stove clean and properly put out after use. You must check and ensure that all the wick is properly put out.
Lit Candle: Candles, Mosquito Coils, Prayer Diyas should always be placed in a safe place. It must be put in a metal plate and should never be placed near the curtains or any other combustible materials which can result in a fire incident. Mosquito coils must never be put on top of the newspapers.
Electrical Fires: Avoid overloading electrical circuits and it is also very important to inspect electrical cords and appliances for damage and home owners must always ensure that they switched off all the electrical appliances before leaving home.
Arson Fires: If home owners are leaving their properties vacant for some time, NFA is urging home owners to make alternative arrangements for someone to look after their property or to alert the nearest Police Station.
Mr O’Connor highlighted the need for the members of the community to take a proactive approach towards fire safety.
“Some members of the community assume that fires will not happen in their homes, but when it happens, only than members of the community realize the consequences of a fire.
“We must never assume that a fire will not happen to you. We all use fire sources at our homes as such the risk of a fire exists in all our homes. If we are all careful, take fire safety seriously, discuss fire safety with our family members and more importantly practice fire safety in our homes everyday, then we can control the possible causes of fires and prevent fires from occurring.
However, if we are careless and do not bother about fire safety in our homes, then we can safely assume that a fire can happen in our homes and it just takes the alignment of the three elements of fire which are heat, fuel and oxygen for a fire to start.
We are urging the members of the community to change their mindset and attitude towards fire safety. We must all take fire safety seriously because a fire is the most dangerous disaster that can happen in our homes.
NFA is urging family members to discuss fire safety in their daily family meetings. We are urging religious organisation to discuss fire safety in their gathering. We are urging village and communities to discuss fire safety in their meetings. Employers and Employees must discuss fire safety in their OHS meetings.
“We do not want any member of our community to go through a fire situation and we humbly request members of the community to change their attitude towards fire as they must discuss fire safety with their family members, communities and friends to prevent fire incidents.
“Fire prevention is important and should be practiced in our homes, general public should cooperate and work together with NFA in preventing fires from occurring in the first place”, Mr O’Connor added.