Attention to detail matters

Fred Wesley | Friday, December 29, 2017
AS we count down the days to another brand new year, it is apt that the National Fire Authority has come up with a warning.

The NFA's chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai is pleading with members of the public to practise fire safety to the highest level.

With a lot of merrymaking expected over the long weekend, he cautioned people to be mindful of fire safety issues.

"One thing members of the community here in Fiji should know is that it is very hard for us firefighters to see a house burn down when we respond to calls and it's also hard for us to see family members crying beside their burned down dwelling. So we're asking them to help in making this New Year fire-free," he said.

Some factors, he said, that could cause fires included electrical gadgets not properly looked after, matches left within the reach of children, unattended cooking and many other common factors which were ignored by members of the public.

In April this year we reported on how two houses in Nasinu and Nausori were destroyed by fire.

In the first incident, at Bau Rd, Nausori, a three-flat wooden house was destroyed leaving two families homeless.

The NFA received a fire emergency call at 3.55am and arrived there at 3.58am. By then the house was fully engulfed in flames.

In another fire incident, a three-bedroom wooden house was destroyed by fire at Narere, Nasinu.

In both incidents, families were at home when the fire started and they managed to escape safely.

In March a fire claimed the lives of three young girls in Labasa.

It is when deaths happen that we are left to ponder on the issue of fire safety and what should be done to put a stop to such incidents.

We may sound like a broken record permanently on replay mode.

The importance of how we create enough awareness to raise fire safety must be encouraged though.

It must tug at the heart strings for it to be effective.

It must force a rethink of how much attention we should be placing on it, and it must motivate us to rise above complacency and be a catalyst for change, kicking aside bad habits.

We must talk about it at various levels of society.

How we pay attention to safety issues must be a topic of discussion we learn to appreciate and value.

There must be attention to detail and we must do the little things that aid in fire safety because they matter.

We should be doing this for the sake of our loved ones and most importantly, for ourselves.

We should make it our business to be aware of danger spots, from cooking areas, where we keep mosquito coils, to how we use electrical appliances to name a few.

Let's stay safe and embrace fire safety tips.

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