She sat in the office the other day preparing a report for submission to one of their regulatory bodies and suddenly hears a voiced out alarm “ E dey burn, E dey burn”.
Being the routine, she checks all equipment are turned off and started moving to the muster point, but on getting there, she sees where the fire was occurring and thought, ok, this is serious, but not an immediate threat to staff and work environment.
At that point, She’s thinking, “this can be managed, but I am not a trained fire fighter, so I can’t go fight the fire”, meanwhile what is aflame is a heavy duty vehicle, a swamp bogey to be precise, which could cost between a 100-150million Naira (you say what?!).
Anyways, people move around trying to get fire extinguishers to put out the fires, but surprisingly, all fire extinguishers within the vicinity were all used up without having been replaced.
Going to other areas, it was discovered that only one filled cylinder (25kg) of CO2 was available within the premises, however, this could not put out the fire, as it had built up already.
In the long run, though the fire was eventually put out, there was already complete damage to the equipment as the fire had already spread to the cabin of the equipment, though the personnel were save.
So, the point is, yes, such incidents do occur (God forbid, my naija people’s saying when it comes to issues we ought to have prevented or prepared for), but how prepared are we for them?
What contingency plans do we have in place for such incidents? Your extinguishers in your homes and places of work, when last were they checked for expiration or if used up, have they been refilled?
In your moving vehicles, do you have fire extinguishers? In your places of work, do you have fire fighting trucks, trained fire fighters, pressurised hydrant systems and hoses?, do you have fire alarms and fire blankets handy in your homes and office systems?
Something she left out earlier, a petroleum tank farm is not too far away from the premise of this incident. If for any reason, the fire had crossed over? She leaves the results to your wild imaginations.
Get yourself prepared for fire incidents, do the needful and ensure that in your places of work, in your homes, etc, there are contingency plans for fire incidents, and remember, “Response must be rapid and planned”, otherwise, the Fires could eat up everything within its reach.
Also do a thorough check (pre-mob) before using any equipment to avoid “stories that touch”, especially when it is a hired equipment and ensure your personnel are trained.