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electrical fire in Nigeria

Fire outbreak resulting from electrical fault has become an increasingly common occurrence in Nigeria, with several cases reported in recent times. Such incidents have resulted in significant damage to property, disruption of business operations, and in some instances, loss of lives. The most recent case was the fire outbreak at the office of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in Abuja, where the ICT section of the complex was severely damaged.

According to reports, the fire started at about 8 pm on Thursday evening, triggered the fire alarm, which sent staff who were still within the office complex into panic. Fortunately, the FCT Federal Fire Service responded early to the scene and were eventually able to put out the fire at about 8:35 pm. Investigations to determine the cause of the fire are still ongoing, but officials suspect that an electric power surge may have been responsible.

Similar incidents caused by electrical surges have occurred in other parts of the country. In April, there was a fire outbreak in a building within the courtyard of the palace of the Ooni Of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, which destroyed property within the affected apartment. Similarly, a fire outbreak occurred at Araromi Market Agodi Gate in Ibadan, where about 45 shops were destroyed due to indiscriminate refuse burning.

The causes of these fire outbreaks are primarily due to electric power surges, which occur when the voltage supplied to electrical appliances exceeds their capacity to handle it, leading to overheating and eventual combustion. This problem is often exacerbated by poor electrical wiring and maintenance practices. Electrical faults can also result from the use of substandard electrical materials, which are often imported from countries with lax quality control.

According to a report by The Guardian Nigeria, there were 3,559 fire incidents recorded across Nigeria between January 2019 and October 2020, with 1,064 of these incidents attributed to electrical faults. Additionally, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) revealed that there were 118 reported cases of electrical accidents in the first quarter of 2021 alone, with 62 of these accidents leading to fatalities.

To prevent fire outbreaks resulting from electrical faults, there is a need for proper electrical installation, maintenance, and monitoring practices. Building owners and property managers should ensure regular electrical inspections and repairs to identify and rectify potential faults before they escalate into a fire outbreak. The use of substandard electrical materials should also be discouraged, and only certified products that meet safety standards should be installed.

Furthermore, the government and regulatory agencies should enforce strict regulations governing electrical installations and maintenance practices. This will involve ensuring that electrical contractors are duly licensed and that electrical installations comply with safety standards. There is also a need for public awareness campaigns to educate people on the dangers of poor electrical installation and maintenance practices and encourage them to adopt safe practices.

In conclusion, fire outbreaks resulting from electrical faults have become an increasingly common occurrence in Nigeria, causing significant damage to property and disrupting business operations. These incidents can be prevented through proper electrical installation and maintenance practices, including regular inspections and repairs, the use of certified electrical materials, and strict regulation and enforcement by government and regulatory agencies. It is essential to promote public awareness of the dangers of electrical faults and encourage the adoption of safe practices to prevent future occurrences.

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