On Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, there was a fire outbreak at the Physics Department of the University of Lagos and this fire spread to other offices and the floor above it, eight offices ended up being consumed by the fire. These offices are the offices of lecturers of the university, most of them being academic doctors and professors. The most valuable properties to these set of people are the research works they have done, the ongoing research papers, the publications they are working on, the ones already published and their textbooks. All of these were burnt in the fire accident, which means years of hard work got consumed in a fire accident, very sad. The real cause of the accident is yet to be known, but the fire ended up destroying people’s hard work, investments and valuables.
|The burning offices inside the University of Lagos.|
First Aid For Domestic fire accident?
Have it at the back of your mind that fire is ignited and supported by heat, oxygen and fuel (anything that can support the flame, e.g. paper, cloth, broom stick, wood, nylon, kerosene, petrol, cooking gas, etc.)
To stop fire, make sure one of these requirements is blocked and the fire would not be supported.
• Cut the fuel supply: The fuel supply should be cut off, so that the energy source of the fire can be disconnected from the fire, so that the fire gets too weak to burn. Should it be an electrical fire, e.g. burning socket or electrical appliance, cut the source of electricity supply from the main switch to the house, if it is burning cooking gas, turn off the supply from the cylinder and then you can cool the heat.
• Cool the heat: The heat can be cooled by pouring water on the burning fire. The force with which you’ll pour the water depends on the weight of the burning material should it be pieces of water or dry leaves, carefully splash the water on them, to prevent the light weighted objects from flying from their location to another location, thereby, spreading the fire. Water can only be poured on a burning massive object that is sure not to move from its point to another and spreading the fire e.g. burning table.
• Starve the fire of oxygen: Burning is supported by oxygen, without which the fire remains smoke and does not turn in to burning flame. This is mostly used to put out fire from burning liquids e.g. burning oil. To do this, you could soak a heavy towel or blanket in water; pour lather powder or liquid detergent in water knowing that it is the lather of the detergent we need. Make the lather and pour it with the water on the burning object or cover the burning object or liquid with the soaked towel. Note: do not pour water into burning liquid; else it splashes on you and burns you skin.
• Protect yourself from the fire and the smoke which kills silently. A lot of people die from inhaling the smoke without getting burnt. The smoke contains carbon monoxide which is poisonous to the blood.
Items Needed To Fight Fire.
• Water • Detergent • Thick Towel or blanket • Fire extinguisher
Most of the fire extinguishers seen around look like this, they contain a mixture of dry chemical, carbon dioxide and water that can choked oxygen out of the fire and cool the heat a bit. Note, the gas in the cylinder is under great pressure and has to be carefully and tightly handle, else a fling from it can cause injuries such as a bone fracture. To operate a fire extinguisher, you must: • Remove the safety pin • Hold tightly and direct the nozzle to the center of the fire • Then, squeeze the handle to release cylinder content.
|A fire extinguisher|
|Components of a fire extinguisher|
Switch off all electrical appliances when leaving the house as electrical fire spreads very fast.
Ensure you put out the light of every match stick and do not leave a burning candle with no supervision.
More pictures of the fire incident in the University of Lagos.
|Before the fire got big|
|Damaged offices with the fire still burning at the top floor.|
|PUTTING OUT THE FIRE|
|DAMAGE ALREADY DONE!!!|
|INSIDE AND AROUND THE BUILDING.|
Nigeria Emergency Telephone Numbers
199 - Ambulance
119 - Police
190 - Fire
119 - Police
190 - Fire