A daily challenge

Fire Investigations Leading Fire Officer Rayyan Amato (left) with fire fighter Fiu Titifanua investigates a house fire in Lovu Lautoka last month. Picture: REINAL CHAND

THERE is a familiar ring to fire safety campaigns.

They talk about safety issues, touch on tips and advocate a proactive stance. Awareness of danger spots and signs are impressed upon the masses.

They talk about proactive action and what to do in the event of a fire. It is not unusual to get a sense of repetitive action of sorts which understandably is to be expected. You can’t help it but feel there is a repetition of a similar message every year. There is a reason for that though.

There are so many critical lessons to appreciate and learn. Do we appreciate the need to embrace safety rules though? Do we truly understand and value the importance of fire safety? It is an issue of concern.

Parveen Kumar, who was the Minister for Infrastructure at the time, while speaking at the passing-out parade for 34 new National Fire Authority recruits at the Togalevu Naval Base on this month back in 2016, said six lives had been lost that year. He said it had to trigger alarm bells.

He spoke about the need for more fire stations around the country. He placed the safety factor on a very high plane. We have to embrace awareness and do the little things that matter in the end. That means being part of the safety factor. Yesterday a four-bedroom house in Laqere, Nasinu burnt down.

Home owner Mereadani Kunavula refused to comment yesterday. She was still in shock after what had happened. The fire reportedly started about 3pm.

The National Fire Authority could not contain it. As investigations into the cause of the fire continue, we are reminded that it pays to be prepared. Perhaps families can take time out to ensure every member of the household is aware of action to take in the event of structural fires for starters.

We should be aware of potential fire hazards and ensure these are taken care of. Our children need to be part of fire safety discussions. We must take ownership of fire safety in our own homes.

Accidents happen.

They can be prevented though. That is where awareness campaigns come in. The message of fire safety should never be shrugged aside. Lives can be saved.

But when all things are considered, it is true that life-saving acts make great stories. The best story though would have to be one of preparedness, where structural fires don’t happen at all.

That is our challenge daily.

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