Editorial Comment: Fire safety is our business

As authorities investigate the cause of two separate structural fires in the Western Division at the weekend, perhaps this should be an apt reason for us to be proactive.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed the first incident happened on Saturday when a two-bedroom house in Kashmir, Lautoka was burnt down.

The vacant house, she said, made of timber and corrugated iron, was destroyed.

The estimated cost of damage, she said, was $20,000.

Ms Naisoro said the house was not insured.

There were no injuries and the cause of fire has not been established.

Yesterday, a five-bedroom corrugated iron and timber house in Navau, Ba, was also destroyed in a fire.

On this month last year, we reported that two houses in Suva and Nausori were destroyed by fire.

In the first incident, at Bau Rd, Nausori, a three-flat wooden house was destroyed leaving two families homeless. The National Fire Authority had received a fire emergency call at 3.55am and arrived there at 3.58am.

By then the house was fully engulfed in flames.

In another fire incident, a three bedroom wooden house was destroyed by fire at Qari Place in Narere. In both incidents, families were at home when the fire started and they managed to escape safely. We keep saying this every time a fire destroys a home.

We jump up and down when deaths occur.

That’s when we talk about fire safety.

The importance of how we create enough awareness to raise fire safety must be encouraged.

It must tug at the heartstrings for it to be effective.

People must be encouraged to embrace fire safety.

We must rise above complacency and be a catalyst for change.

We must kick aside bad habits. We must talk about it. It must be something we address at various levels of society.

How we pay attention to safety issues must be a topic of discussion we learn to appreciate and value.

Accidents happen. However, accidents can be prevented.

That is where attention to detail and doing the little things that aid in fire safety matter. It is when we overcome doubts, complacency and learn to appreciate fire safety tips.

We should be doing this for the sake of our loved ones and most importantly, for ourselves. We should make it our business to be aware of danger spots, from cooking areas, where we keep mosquito coils, to how we use electrical appliances to name a few. Let’s stay safe and embrace fire safety tips.