Jos – The Plateau State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Wednesday advised the general public against bush burning and reckless ignition of fires during the harmattan period.
Alhaji Alhassan Barde, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.
He said that the advice became necessary in order to reduce fire disasters during the dry season.
Barde explained that the agency would sensitise the public on dangers posed by the harmattan winds, especially as they relate to fires.
“The people must be careful with burning bush, particularly now that the farmers are harvesting their produce.
“They must avoid the temptation of indiscriminately setting the bushes ablaze in the course of preparing their farmlands for another planting season.
“Because fires, particularly during the harmattan, can escalate and consume valuables, including houses and even human lives, if care is not taken,’’ he said.
The secretary further advised those using combustible items like generators, to be more cautious during the period, as they may easily ignite fires.
According to him, generators must be positioned far away from petrol or other inflammable material, as far as possible.
He also advised that generators should not be refilled with fuel when their engines are running.
Barde noted that many avoidable disasters had occurred in the past due to the reckless handling of combustible materials.
The SEMA boss warned the people against storing fuel in residential or commercial areas.
“We are advising people to also be careful when using candles and kerosene lanterns, as they have the capacity to ignite fires.
“Also, people should endeavour to switch off electrical appliances before leaving their houses, to avoid fires that could result from power surges,’’ he added. (NAN)