Scene of fire at Embakasi
Image: Courtesy

The country has witnessed a surge in fire incidents resulting in fatalities, injuries, and homelessness.

Notable cases include a gas explosion in Embakasi caused by the incorrect refilling of cylinders, claiming 6 lives and injuring 280.

This past weekend, a Malindi-bound bus caught fire in Voi, but all 48 passengers were safely evacuated.

Riomego Boarding Primary School in Nyamira County faced a dormitory fire for the third time in 72 hours, and a fire at Kapsirowa Secondary School in Trans Nzoia left over 150 students counting losses.

Additionally, a fire broke out at City Stadium in Nairobi, causing losses for business owners.

In response to these incidents, here are fundamental fire safety measures to prevent and control outbreaks:

  1. Always Have an Escape Plan:

    • Draw a home map, identify two exits from each room, ensure doors and windows are unblocked, and designate an outside meeting place. Practice fire drills regularly with all household members.
  2. Install Smoke Alarms:

    • Place smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every home level, including the basement. Ceiling mounting is recommended.
  3. Maintain Electrical Wiring:

    • Keep extension cords away from heat, water, and oil. Avoid allowing vehicles to pass over unprotected extension cords.
  4. Kitchen Fire Precautions:

    • Avoid leaving cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clean, as a build-up of fat and grease can ignite. Regularly clean the oven, hob, and grill.
  5. Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher:

    • Pull the pin, aim low at the fire's base, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side until the fire appears extinguished.
  6. Workplace Fire Safety Checklist:

    • Train workers in escape procedures, ensure an adequate number of fire extinguishers throughout the facility, label all exit doors, keep them unlocked, and design them to open outward.
  7. Emergency Response:

    • In case of fire, prioritize getting out safely. Call for help once outside. Use the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" technique if clothing catches fire to extinguish flames and prevent severe burns. Plan a fire escape route.

Implementing these fire safety measures can significantly reduce the risk and impact of fire incidents.