Embracing a fire safety culture is an important element in building resilience. However, it’s imperative that a nation and indeed its citizens fully embrace the culture of balancing fire protection and practical fire mitigation efficiencies towards achieving risk reduction.
The procedural guidelines as stipulated in the National Fire Safety Code is timely but taking precautions against fire and other related emergencies can not only be left to regulators alone. No matter how efficient the Federal Fire Service may play its role as a regulator or how stringent the National Fire Safety Code and its implementation may be, it’s vital that stakeholders in the sector adopt better fire-prevention habits. Not left out of course are businesses or the private sector which also should maintain a boardroom and workplace-level awareness of fire prevention/mitigation practices with a view to instilling a culture of fire safety.
No individual, community or institution is immune to disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), acts of terrorism, social unrest, or infrastructural disasters in addition to natural hazards with their resultant effects can lead to large-scale consequences for our communities and nation at large. Communities and the nation as a whole thus face difficult fiscal, social, cultural, and environmental choices about the best ways to ensure basic safety/security against hazards, deliberate attacks, and emergencies. This clearly points to the fact that disaster risk reduction is about quality decisions and choices.
As a way forward therefore, one way to reducing the impacts of disasters on a nation and its communities is to invest in enhancing resilience being the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse situations.
By extension, an enhanced resilience therefore allows for better anticipation of disasters and better planning mechanism to reduce disaster losses-rather than waiting for an event to occur and paying for it afterward.
This July 2020 edition of Fire Fighters Magazine confronts topical issues on how to increase the nation’s resilience to disasters through a purposeful approach based on information and knowledge sharing. In addition, increasing fire safety resilience is a necessity that requires a collective will at the national, state and community levels. Although disasters will continue to occur, actions that move the nation from reactive approaches to a proactive stance where communities actively engage in enhancing resilience will reduce many of the broad societal and economic burdens that disasters can cause.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us and as a nation and a people we are collectively involved in the fight to overcome it. The Federal and State Fire Services have critical roles to play in this fight and as you would see in this edition, the Federal Fire Service is not relenting on its oars as ably led by Dr. Ibrahim Liman Alhaji, the Controller General of the agency.
Also in this edition is a report on the 2020 colourful passing out ceremony of over 2,200 Regular Fire Service Cadet Officers, and commissioning of 6 new firefighting trucks at the National Fire Academy, Sheda, Abuja. Others are the many strides of the Federal Government towards boosting the nation’s capacity in terms of fire safety resilience across all states of the federation and the FCT.
Finally, from all of us at the Editorial desk, accept the assurances of a pleasurable and informative time out reading through this edition but remember that risk reduction is achievable, and the decision to become more fire safety resilient is in our hands collectively.
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