OPINION: Is Nairobi ready for the next Fire Disaster?

By Martin Kibet | Monday Sep 18, 2017

In the past few weeks there has been a series of fire incidents in schools and hotels. The most tragic one being on 2nd September, 2017 at Moi girls high school in Nairobi where nine students died. The question that needs answers is ARE WE PREPARED FOR FIRE INCIDENCE?  This can be resolved either proactively or reactively by the concerned institution. But for purposes of preventing the consequences of fire it’s more prudent for proactive measures to be put in place as stipulated in The Occupational Safety and health Act 2007 and Fire –Risks Reduction rules 2007.

The Occupational safety and health Act 2007 section 78 stipulates precaution that need to be taken when dealing with flammable substances, but most of the institutions contravenes the very key things that could prevent or reduce consequences of fire. Fire –risk reduction rules 2007 stipulate very clear on what should be done pro-actively in relation to:

  • Handling of flammable substances
  • Ventilation
  • Hot processes or operation
  • Housekeeping
  • Electrical equipment 
  • Fire escape routes
  • Control of spread of smoke
  • Means of evacuation
  • Formation of firefighting team
  • Training in fire safety
  • Functions of firefighting team
  • Fire drills
  • Assembly point
  • First aid
  • Means of communication
  • Fire detection system 
  • Firefighting appliances 
  • Selection and distribution of fire extinguishers
  • Fire safety policy
  • Fire safety audit 

These factors should be taken into account if we are to prevent or reduce consequences of fire, otherwise the question will continue and continue until we consider FIRE SAFETY as a key part of day to day business and given the required attention.

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