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Lagos State Fire Service and the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) have blamed major fire and building collapse incidents in the state on human errors.

Heads of both agencies told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separately interviews in Lagos on Sunday that the occurrences could have been avoided if people were safety conscious.

According to Mr Rasak Fadipe, Director, Lagos State Fire Service, the service responded to 1,931 fire emergencies in 2015.

He said that in the incidents, 85 lives were lost while 117 were saved.

``Eighty per cent of the emergencies that we responded to between January, 2015 and January, 2016 were caused by human errors.

``Some causes of the fire incidents include gas cooker, petroleum products that were stored in the house, candle light and use of substandard electrical appliances,’’ he said.

``The months of December and January recorded the highest number of fire disaster in Lagos.

``We had 293 incidents in December, 2015, while the month of January, 2016, had 258 incidents; the Lagos Mainland had the highest incident.

``The dry season is seen to be a contributory factor. To avoid such incidents during this season, people must prepare for the season like they prepare for the rainy season.

``The preparations involve taking precautionary measures against the causes of the fire outbreaks.

``Children should not be allowed to play with match sticks and electrical appliances are not be turned on while the person is not around,’’ Fadipe added.

He also advised people to check the electrical connections in their apartments and learn how to properly use gas cookers and electrical appliances to avoid fire incidents.

According to the director, while the value of properties saved by the service within the period is estimated at N115.8 billion, the properties lost to fire are valued at N19.3 billion.

Fadipe said that in 2015, the service lost one personnel, three were injured, five were assaulted by miscreants and three of its trucks were vandalised.

On his part, General Manager of LASEMA, Mr Michael Akindele, reiterated that many of the fire incidents, building collapse cases and boat mishaps as well as road accidents could be traced to human errors.

``Some people obtain permit to renovate a house only for such people to start building a new house without following stipulated guidelines.

``Presently, many houses in Lagos are built with substandard materials.

``However, there are penalties for such now, because if a building collapses, apart from forfeiting it to government, the owner and the structural engineer will be prosecuted.

``We have also experienced fire disasters in industries and homes which were as a result of lack of compliance to safety regulations.

``I advise every member of the public to be security and safety conscious in order to prevent avoidable disasters,’’ Akindele said.

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