Fire Hazard Preparedness and Mitigation in Selected Market Centres in South-Eastern Nigeria


Authors : Onuegbu, Williams; A.A. Obafemi; O.S. Eludoyin

Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 6 - June

Google Scholar : http://bitly.ws/9nMw

Scribd : https://bit.ly/2UvNiPo

Fire in commercial institutions is a public concern because of the increased incidences, injuries, and deaths of innocent immediate traders and stakeholders not to mention the destruction caused by the fire to the institution buildings such as the shops and other valuables. Preparedness to fire hazards will help to minimize loss of lives, property, and trading time. The purpose of this study was to investigate fire hazard preparedness and mitigation in selected markets centers in southeastern Nigeria. The study was guided by the following objectives; to analyze the frequency of fire disaster across the study area and to assess risk reduction strategies in these markets. The target population was the traders and other stakeholders in the markets. Simple random sampling was used to give every subject an equal chance to be selected. Data were collected using questionnaires which were administered to the respondents through the drop and pick a method and the site observation checklist. Data collected from respondents were analyzed through descriptive statistics. The results were presented using frequency tables, mean and standard deviation. Basing on the study findings, the majority of the respondents reported that fire occurs frequently in the markets which are mostly caused by fault electricity, renovation, and inappropriate storage of flammable materials. This indicated a high level of fire disaster unpreparedness. On safety plans, most markets have no evacuation plans. All these are signs of fire disaster unpreparedness. On training in fire safety, most workers and other stakeholders have not been trained on appropriate responses in case of fire outbreak and most of them may not know what to do in case of fire disaster leading to fire disaster unpreparedness. Basing on the study findings, the market management should consider adding more firefighting facilities like a sprinkler system, reliable water supply, fire boots, suits, helmets, hoods, gloves, sacks of sands in buildings, fire blankets, fire fighters’ outfits, fire protective clothing, fire hydrants, fire escape ladder, and self-contained breathing apparatus so that they become proportional to the number of market buildings and people in the markets. It is also recommended that windows should not be grilled, and doors should open outwards. Also, market traders and stakeholders should be made aware of evacuation plans. Finally, all market traders and stakeholders should be trained on fire safety.

Keywords : Traders, Hazards, Perception, Preparedness, Fire.

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