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AN EXAMINATION OF FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL STRATEGIES IN THE DESIGN OF A MULTI LEVEL MARKET

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ABSTRACT

The occurrence of disasters and emergencies has increased in frequency and intensity in the last decade, especially recent times. Rapid population growth, urbanization and social political issues compounded by ethnic plurality has been resulting in fierce competition for scarce resources leading to deteriorating livelihoods, social marginalization, crime and general insecurity. Traditional markets amongst others experience the manifestations of these which is revealed in the growing rate of fire outbreaks amongst other negative things. Fire outbreaks in markets has led to a wanton loss of lives and properties worth billions of naira across Nigeria, this ugly sinister isn’t mostly due to natural causes but man-made. Eventually Architects during the conceptual design stage had barely paid attention to prevention and control strategies that could minimize fire outbreaks and spread in cases of emergencies. The aim of this study is to evaluate fire prevention and control strategies in the design of markets in Nigeria. For the evaluation of fire prevention and control strategies in markets case studies were conducted on some selected markets. Data was collected through interview and a checklist was designed and in each of the cases. The results obtained from the cases studied showed that the markets are not properly zoned with regards to fire. Also, fire prone areas and the non-fire prone areas were not clearly defined and the devices and strategies provided are inadequate. Furthermore the research shows how fire could easily be spread through ducts and voids that have not been careful treated especially through roof spaces. The findings were considered in the proposal of an ultra-modern market nigeria, the design demonstrated key fire prevention and control strategies that could minimize fire spread and outbreak.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1.        BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Indeed, the occurrence of disasters and emergencies in Nigeria has increased in frequency and intensity in the last decade and especially in recent times. Rapid population growth and urbanization and social political issues compounded by ethnic plurality has been resulting in fierce competition for scarce resources leading to deteriorating livelihoods, social marginalization, crime and general insecurity (NEMA, 2006).

Fire disasters particularly have become so incessant that they now occur on a daily basis, Even though the risk of fire outbreaks is higher during the dry season, it is very scary the number of fire incidents that has occurred in quick succession across the nation the statistics for the year ended 2012 coming from various states in the federation are equally frightening(Adamu, 2013). In Rivers State, for instance, the government has announced that 73 persons suffered different degrees of injuries and that no fewer than 230 persons lost their lives in 222 fire incidents in the state in 2012 alone(Ogunmosunle, 2013). Another statement from the Oyo State Fire Service Department indicated that about N1bn worth of property were destroyed and a total of 38 people were killed in 607 fire incidents last year. In just the first two weeks of 2013, the department has received 46 distress calls over fire disasters in different parts of the state in which three persons were killed (Ogunmosunle, 2013).

The occurrence of disasters and emergencies in the country has increased in both frequency and intensity due to increase in population. Most times market fire are attributed to shop-owners‟ carelessness in handling electrical appliances, faulty electric wiring and storage of inflammable substances in unsafe manners(Adamu, 2013). Billions of Naira and human lives have been lost to the inferno with most victims failing to recover financially an physically afterwards. It is against this background that the NEMA conceived the idea of evolving an insurance scheme for both structures and the individual shops in those markets tagged Market Shop Owners Insurance Scheme in 2009. It worked out affordable insurance cover for patronage of shop owners with insurance firms so that in the event of major fire incidents, victims are guaranteed of immediate, adequate and satisfactory compensation to enable them recover quickly from their losses. It is common knowledge that the best firefighting technique is prevention and the best strategy for recovery is insurance cover.

The „Not my portion or God forbid‟ syndrome has also been the bane of developing an attitudinal change framework for achieving a safer society in Nigeria (Shuaib, 2010). Some people, out of sheer ignorance, still harbour the cultural belief that to make provision for the prevention of hazards is to actually invite the occurrence of such misfortune. This is why many of our people do not subscribe to simple fire and safety tips that can keep disasters at bay (Shuaib, 2010).

The issue of safety which once occupied a major place in the programmes and plans of every level of government is now treated with levity. (MaC-Paul, 2013)Within the context of Nigerian laws on safety, the National Fire Safety Code, for instance, seems to have been neglected. The code is a set of rules guiding fire prevention and control in all public buildings in Nigeria. If Nigeria as a nation is desirous of halting the embarrassing trend of preventable fire incidents in the country, it is therefore imperative for the government to strengthen and strictly enforce all existing laws on safety with a view to achieving a safer society. Those who breach the laws must be punished accordingly (Ogunmosunle, 2013). Nigeria located at Jema‟a local government area of Kaduna State is the third largest city after Zaria. It serves as a commercial call point to places like Kagoro, Madakiya, Zonkwa, Samarun Kataf amongst others. Nigeria Since inception has never had a well-designed market(Archibong, 2010). Two delineated sites were allocated by the government of Kaduna state for the purpose of economic activities. One of the allocated sites is situated at the Funtswan chiefdom and the other at the very heart of the Jema‟a Emirate. The site at the at the Jema‟a emirate got fully developed due to the influx of people all round the city, the market developed with scattered temporal structure made of Aluminum and timber. This market was gutted by fire early 2011 (Abaje, 2010). Immediately after the 2011 presidential elections.

1.2.        PROBLEM STATEMENT

A market anywhere is a place where buying and selling of goods and service occurs, it is usually a beehive of activities where a large number of people are participants in this activities. In Nigeria traditional markets is a call point for all and sundry for the purpose of business, the markets gives an opportunity for the buyer and seller to interact and bargain on the prices of the goods and services this is in contrast to the shopping mall/centres, super markets amongst others where the prices of goods and services are fixed with any opportunity for the participants in business to bargain. Due to the influx of large number of people as a result of population expansion the markets has become a haven characterised by so many vices amongst these vices are traffic congestion, improper waste disposal, chaotic circulation patterns, these factors combine to constitute considerable risk during fire outbreaks as a result of improper use of the facility. Fire outbreaks in markets has led to a wanton loss of lives and properties worth billions of naira across the country, this ugly sinister isn’t mostly due to natural cause but made. In this study various prevention and control strategies would be investigated and assessment to establish the extent of application, and thereafter a demonstration in the design of a multi-level market in Nigeria.

1.3.        AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The aim of this study is to evaluate fire prevention and control strategies in the design of markets in Nigeria. This would be achieved through the following objectives:

  1. To identify the fire prevention and control strategies applicable to markets.
  2. To evaluate the extent, to which these strategies have been applied in selected markets in Nigeria, based on the existing standards of Nigeria.
  • To demonstrate the outcome of the study in the design of market at Nigeria.

1.4.        RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • What fire prevention and control strategies can be incorporated into markets design in Nigeria?
  1. To what extent has fire prevention and control strategies been applied to markets in Nigeria?
  • How can the outcome of the study be demonstrated in the design of Market in Nigeria.

1.5.        SCOPE OF STUDY

This thesis dwells on evaluating fire prevention and control strategies in markets. It will further demonstrate how the various design parameters aid in adapting and applying fire prevention and control strategies in markets design. The research will also cover all the necessary facilities that are related to a market, and also follow the current trends of designing a market.

1.6.        JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY

Although there been a designated sites by the Government of Kaduna state for market in Nigeria that is one at the heart of the Jema’a emirate. Ever since the discovery of Nigeria there has never been a market designed and constructed to be used by the population of Nigeria. Markets within that region just sprung up by chance, as a result of population expansion and the need for a conducive environment for commercial activities. The market in Nigeria in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna was gutted by fire in early 2011. The cause of fire is widely attributed to human factors. The market was never designed, sprung up accidently. The aftermath of the event of the fire out-break was greeted by a decision by the state government of Kaduna to map out a new site for Nigeria central market so as to cater for the business needs of the populace of Nigeria and the surrounding environment.

 

 

 

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