Need to be vigilant

The National Fire Authority (NFA) is calling for the support of members of the community to reduce property fires in 2018.

Last year, NFA attended to 150 property fires which is a great concern to the NFA.

Of the total number of 330 property fire calls attended to last year by the NFA around the country, there were 150 property fires of which 132 were home fires, 17 commercial fires and one industrial fire incident.

Forty-six property fires were electrical related while 18 were due to unattended cooking and 10 were a result of children playing with matches.

In comparing the 2017 fire statistics with the past three years, there were a total of 147 property fires in 2016, 127 in 2015 and 143 in 2014.

The NFA seeks public support to reduce property fires and make communities a fire safer place to live in.

We urge homeowners and tenants to take fire safety seriously at home.

Electrical appliances and wirings in the homes need to be checked and used with care, ensuring that all appliances are turned off and unplugged after use.

Flammable materials need to be kept out of the house and gas cylinders need also to be kept away from heat sources.

Hazardous materials should be kept away from children and children should be taught the dangers of playing with fire.

Great caution should be observed when lighting candles and mosquito coils and these should never be left alight when no one is present in the room.

Cooks are reminded to stay in the kitchen until their cooking is done and the stove is turned off.

Other emergency responses

Apart from the fire calls, NFA attended to a total of 1351 ambulance calls, 63 flood and swift water rescue and hazardous material response calls, and conducted 1093 fire safety awareness programs which included school fire safety awareness programs, community fire safety awareness programs visiting communities and talking to villagers and members of the community on fire safety and house to house fire safety awareness programs where the NFA officers met with the homeowners and families and talked about fire safety around the country.

For this year, NFA will continue to strive for excellence in the delivery of its services to the members of the community.

Role of the media

The NFA firmly believes the media can play a very critical role in the prevention of fires using their respective communication mediums to effectively reach out to every part of the Fiji community.

Media partnership can assist in the promotion of fire safety awareness and preventative messages regularly and effectively to reduce home fires.

We also need the support of the stakeholders to partner with NFA and initiate the delivery and promotion of fire safety awareness to every member of our Fiji community.

We look forward to your support.