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Last Updated: Oct 17th, 2011 - 14:55:01 
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17 Garrison Street,
Freetown,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
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EDITORIALS  

The NASSIT Fire Outbreak is a Wake-Up Call!
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Oct 17, 2011, 13:04
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For an important government institution like the National Social Security and Insurance Trust NASSIT to be gutted with fire is a cause for concern for many reasons.

Since the recent fire outbreak at NASSIT that destroyed projectors, air conditioners worth millions of leones, staff members are now expressing doubt as to whether the NASSIT building is as safe as their employer has made them to believe.  The Awareness Times newspaper understands that only the timely intervention of the National Fire Force saved the NASSIT edifice on Tuesday October 11, 2011. We believe any delay by Fire Force that fateful morning would have caused more serious and costly damages.

As we commend the National Fire Force fighters for their heroic answer to the distress call, this newspaper is worried about the fear expressed by NASSIT workers for the lack of sufficient fire extinguishers in the NASSIT building. We believe this is a risk that is not worth taking!

We expect the sensitisation lessons conducted by the National Fire Force earlier to have some impact on the NASSIT management regarding health and safety issues. We cannot understand why the NASSIT management has failed to install enough fire extinguishers in strategic parts of the building.

In fact, Sierra Leone has very low marks in health and safety issues! NASSIT is not the only government institution that has this problem. Many government departments and private companies alike do not have sufficient fire safety measures in place for emergency fires. We believe the availability of enough fire extinguishers in places of work will control fires in the interim until the arrival of fire force.

Many offices at Youyi Building, which houses about ten government ministries, are exposed to health and safety problems because very few fire extinguishers are available in offices and in the corridors of that massive building. We believe in prevention rather than cure?

This newspaper wants the appropriate authorities to redouble their sensitisation programmes to educate the public about the dangers of fire in working and residential environments. We need to know more about the four types of fire extinguishers i.e. Class A, Class B, Class C and Class D and their uses in order to safeguard our offices, residences, vehicles and public places from this lethal problem. 

The government knows that the preservation of lives and properties is their first responsibility. So this is more reason why the authorities must pay special attention to and the enforcement of our health and safety laws in this country. The NASSIT incident is a lesson we must not ignore! We believe its a wake up call!

We expect government officials who always travel overseas to know the importance of health and safety issues. We need to intensify the National Fire Awareness programme in Sierra Leone now before it is too late!  


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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