Fires at Home
10:06 pm | Author: Living Safe and Green in Nigeria

For a fire to occur, 3 things must be present. Ignition source, Fuel and Oxygen.

Oxygen is always present thanks to the fact that it is one of the components that make up air. So if you have any of the other 2 available around each other in your home, poof! a fire.

This means that if you smell gas {FUEL} (cooking gas does not naturally have any smell, that nasty smell of rotten onions was put into the cooking gas as a safety measure), please do not light a match {IGNITION} to check if the gas is leaking.

A family went through a preventable fire because their housemaid did exactly what I described above. In that split second when she made the decision to light a match, she had no idea that she was going to make her employers lose their home and almost lose their children. Fire is a very deadly thing and I will speak about it more later on the blog. Let’s just lay the foundation for now.

Do what you can to prevent a fire:

(The fire service in Nigeria is not dependable. You must make your own plans)

  • Put smoke detectors in at least every room of your house minus the kitchen and generator house (for obvious reasons). They do not need much maintenance…just change the batteries and sweep cobwebs and dust out of its way. If you can’t do every room, do at least one and pray!

  • I realize that a lot of people don’t own their homes. If you rent, you may not be able to do this: Install a sprinkler system. Remember that the smoke alarms can only warn you. Sprinklers increase your chances of surviving a fire.
  • If you can’t put in sprinklers, have fire extinguishers placed in strategic positions. Have at least one big can and smaller sizes that are easier to lift. No point having a fire extinguisher you can’t lift. I will go into how to use one later. There are different types for different types of fire. The best one for the home? That’s a tough one as they should usually be chosen for the class of fire they are to extinguish. E.g electric fire, kerosene fire.
  • Okay, now you know there is a fire and if you have sprinklers, they may be on the way to saving your house so our focus is on saving the inhabitants. You must leave the house. But not just in any manner you fancy. It has to have been practiced in the past. Have drills with your family at least once a quarter. Once a month is more ideal, but hey… na Naija we dey!

How do you leave the house? We will finish get into that and more in the next post. This is getting too long.

Stay Safe. Be green!

Last thoughts: Educate anyone that shares your home with you on fire safety. If you can’t do it effectively on your own, send me a mail and I will send you a few links and PowerPoint slides. Geeky, but important.

P.S: Do not entirely blame the housemaid for the fire. It was the responsibility of her employees to walk her through several scenarios that could occur and how to handle them. A tough task, but one that would have proven invaluable.

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On January 20, 2009 2:42 pm , Living Safe and Green in Nigeria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
On January 21, 2009 3:29 pm , In my head and around me said...

Important stuff to know. Just bookmarked the site!

On February 28, 2009 9:17 am , Omo Oba said...

Your blog is not d typical 9ja blog...rather impressive. So speaking about preppin for fires in 9j, only a select minority actually care. We are so not a maintenance or prevention type people. We need more ppl to think like this...I am curious as to what sparked your interest in writing about this. Actually, I was lured by your title "living green" and "Nigeria" - one being the opposite of the other. So yea, a commendable blog you have started here.

On February 28, 2009 4:06 pm , SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

This is a very good post. The suggestions are practical and definitely take into account the realities on the ground in Naija.

BTW, thank you so much for your recent comment at Nigerian Curiosity. Hope all is well.


On March 12, 2009 2:04 pm , Living Safe and Green in Nigeria said...

~ IMHAM: Thank you

~ Omo Oba: LOL! It is quite an oxymoron I have as a title, non? Yes, you are right about our lack of maintenance culture and it is quite scary that the majority of the peole do not think that safety and all things associated is something to pay any attention to. Hopefully, with this blog I will be able to change minds. One post at a time. Thank you for the compliments.

~ Solomonsydelle: Thanks. BTW, I had another comment from you which I think I misplaced. ( I am new at this moderation thing, forgive me). I did visit the Nigerian Blogger site and I left them a comment.