Members of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) Nigeria have advised owners and custodians of real estate assets to adopt a proactive strategy to minimize risks and enhance fire safety, with increasing spate of fire incidents in residential and commercial buildings in major cities.
They gave the advice at one-day forum organized on a review of the BIFM Guide on Managing Fire Safety in Lagos, where they identified employers, building owners and occupiers, and those responsible for the day to day management of the facility, as crucial for robust fire safety management system.
While examining the tragic fire outbreak at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, West London; the FMs noted that majority of fires are preventable and that all stakeholders had a vital part to play in ensuring their premises are safe from fire.
Speaking on the Citing the BIFM Guide, Hassan B Hassan, a health and safety professional, said “The first step to prevent fire in a facility regardless of its size, location or complexity is by creating a fire safety policy or fire strategy – to demonstrate how the organization or occupants of a building should prevent and manage fire safety in the building”
According to Hassan, who doubles as the treasurer of BIFM Nigeria, many buildings in Nigeria do not have fire certificates and that even for those that have, the level of compliance after obtaining the certificate is often very low.
Chair BIFM Nigeria, Wale Odufalu, challenged practitioners promote best practice and stimulate awareness on their various facilities in the industry.
She noted that FM has the longest interaction in the lifespan of the building and as such has a major role to play as one of the ‘responsible persons’ for managing fire safety.
Source: The Guardian