The Fire Safety and burn’s awareness week 2018 has kicked off and is expected to come to an end on Friday, 7th September. The theme for 2018, ‘Zuia Moto, Zuia Gharama’ is aimed at having a campaign focusing on the cost of fires and how to prevent them. Fires have been reported in multitudes in 2018 alone and some of these fires are household, market, and others school fires. Crisis Control Kenya has therefore partnered with KPLC to create awareness in secondary schools where severe fire cases have been reported. The statistics are overwhelming with 187,502 burns reported in 2016 alone with 40% of these burn victims being children. Parenting: The Importance Of Training Children On Emergency Drills
What to do when a fire happens
Shout FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! This is to inform anyone that is nearby that they should start evacuating the premises as quickly as possible.
Use cold water on burns if any as you wait for help to arrive.
If you are on fire: Stop. Don’t run as you will worsen the flames and spread them. Drop- Lie down. Roll- The rolling ensures that fire doesn’t spread and cover yourself with a thick clothing to kill the flames.
It is important that adults evacuate children as quickly as possible. The head fire Marshall is urging Kenyans to not vandalize equipment like the fire engines that come to put out fires. This slows down their work and it is extremely costly to repair the machinery and most importantly the tax payer’s money is used for this hence counterproductive.
There has been an increase on the number of electric fires that we have been witnessing and this too can be prevented if not fully avoided with the right kind of information as remarked by a KPLC representative. There are a few ways to prevent this which include:
Avoid overloading our sockets
Stop using faulty home equipment or plugging into faulty sockets
Make sure you switch off all appliances that are not being used to avoid overheating
Refrain from the illegal tapping of electricity. It is extremely dangerous.
KPLC has further allocated a portion of their CSR Budget to renovating the Burns Ward at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Additionally, statistics clearly show that most fires happen I households and it is therefore important that:
We have emergency escape plans
In case of burns always use RUNNING tap water
Cover burn with a piece of sterilized clothing and
Always call for specialized care.
Clearly, burns are indeed an economic burden as they are estimated to cost about a million shillings a month for hospitalization costs and this is worrying as also every hour there is at least one burn victim. Furthermore, the time used in recovery further means that burn survivors become fully dependant as the time is sometimes more than 1 year and this is only for the physical burns not accounting for the psychological turmoil that they also go through which in turn translates to a loss of income due to reduced productivity.
Bio Oil has been scientifically and clinically tested and proven to be of immense help to burn scars. Once a burn survivor wound start to heal, bio-oil can be used to clear the scars left if used 2 times a day after one takes their shower for at least 3 times a month.
It is important to note that most disastrous fires that have happened were experienced at neighbourhoods that are made up of the underprivileged and it is therefore upon all stakeholders involved to further come together and come up with tailor-made strategies that can be used to curb this menace. On the other hand, the media has a responsibility to focus on advocacy more than they do focus on incident reporting by being pre-emptive and not just reactionary as poverty is the leading cause of the choice of energy in Kenya and therefore championing for safer and alternative sources should be an objective.
The 2018 fire safety week itinerary is as follows:
Day 1 & 2 (Mon, Tue) – Community and school sensitization sessions in Gikomba, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, and Mukuru Fuata Nyayo
Day 3,4 & 5 – Exhibitions and stakeholders briefings at the grounds
The public is welcome to join every day of the week and in the midst gain useful insights and information on fire safety from the experts.
Caroline Mumbe is passionate about anything money related. She is an entrepreneur and writer who enjoys simplifying financial concepts and making sure people lead their best financial lives. She reads a lot and knows the best coffee joints in Nairobi.