1,015 fire incidents registered in 2020 in residential homes-police report

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More than 1,000 fire incidents were registered in residential homes in 2020.

According to a report compiled by fire and rescue services headed by Joseph Mugisa, the police recorded 1,015 fire incidents last year and the majority of them were in residential homes. 

In the previous years, most fire accidents would be recorded in commercial buildings, metal welding workshops, merchandise stores, timber, wood and furniture workshops. Mugisa explains that children who were left alone cooking using electric appliances like kettles and charcoal stoves ended up burning homes.  

At least 290 homes were burnt in 2020 according to Mugisa. Of these, 173 houses were burnt by fires that started from charcoal stoves, 32 were burnt by electric appliances children left unattended to and 31 other homes were burnt down by fires that ignited from overheating of electric appliances such as flat irons and cookers.     

Apart from homes, commercial buildings came second with 169 fire incidents, makeshift structures recorded 150 fire incidents while electrical installations and motor vehicle garages recorded 100 and 89 fire incidents respectively.   

Independent safety and health consultant, Herbert Kanyali, recently said that there are many appliances in homes that could turn out to be very deadly explosives.

Kanyali equated such tools and implements as a time bomb, and these include Liquefied Petroleum Gas-LPG powered appliances like gas cookers, oven stoves, microwave and pressure cooker.

But Kanyali tips that one can avoid deaths or injuries resulting from home appliances by restricting usage of some gas or electric appliances by children in the absence of adults who could help to minimize fatalities or injuries.

“Such gadgets should not be used by children below 14 years without the supervision of an adult to avoid disastrous consequences. Secondly always ensure that before some of the gadgets are used by young adults or even maids that they are properly trained,” Kanyali said.

Fire incidents caused the death of at least 30 people while 151 were rescued, ponds, pit latrines and water bodies. Besides fires in homes, most of the people rescued from pits were children.

The most highlighted fire incident of 2020 was the burning of the Makerere University’s Main and historical building, the Ivory tower. This building caught fire on September 20 at around midnight.   The Ivory tower housed houses the top administration of the University and other supporting departments such as the Finance and public relations office among others.

“Investigations indicated that the fire started from the office of the public relations officer. The roof was burnt off and the wall cracked. All the offices on the top floor and some on the 2nd floor were burnt,” Mugisa said.

The fire also burnt vertically downwards destroying all the offices below the office where the fire allegedly started from

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