The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on residents and traders to be safety conscious to prevent fire outbreak in and around their environment.

The North West Zonal Coordinator, Mr Musa Ilalah made the call on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

According to him, there is usually no warning when fire outbreak may occur but experience has shown that incidences of fire are more common during the dry season.

He said that in the last quarter of 2015, there were 163 fire outbreaks in the state.

“The harmattan season is here, which it is important for people to know how to curtail persistent fire outbreaks, which commonly occurs during the dry season.

“Most residents and shop owners are careless in handling electrical appliances; they mostly forget to put out their appliances after they close for the day,’’ he said.

Ilalah said that this could later lead to fire outbreaks if not properly managed “and in a populated environment, it poses high risk to occupants and their property. ”

He urged market associations, organisations and students that had benefited from the agency’s sensitisation campaigns against fire outbreaks to enlighten other business owners.

“We need to continue sensitising and informing the public on the importance of safety measures in residential and business environments to curtail fire outbreaks.

“As part of disaster management, the agency will do everything possible, including sensitisation and quick response to prevent and curtail fire outbreaks.”

He appealed traders to be conversant with telephone numbers of fire and emergency services to enable them make calls when the need arose.