The Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, has commended the Rwanda National Police (RNP) efforts to fight and prevent fire outbreaks.
The minister, who was speaking yesterday at the Special Economic Zone in Masoro, Gasabo District, where she launched a campaign against fire outbreaks, said measures taken include community awareness and increasing its response capabilities to protect Rwandans against disasters.
The campaign is in the context of Police Week.
Mukantabana said fires lead to enormous economic losses and sometimes loss of lives.
“Most fire disasters can be avoided if people are cautious, listen and follow guidelines provided by experts in dealing with potential causes,” she said, urging property owners to take precaution and acquire fire extinguishers for emergency situations before the arrival of professional firefighters.
The minister asked the business community and individual households to always take insurance cover for their facilities against risks in case of such disasters.
Present at the function was the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Emmanuel K. Gasana, and the Mayor of the City of Kigali, Pascal Nyamulinda.
Mayor Nyamulinda also advised against using lay professionals in electricity installations and use of substandard equipment.
The Commanding Officer for RNP Fire and Rescue Brigade, Jean Baptiste Seminage, said most causes of fire outbreaks investigated have been predominantly caused by poor or illegal electric installations, overloading the system, and unattended candles in homes.
However, he said RNP has increased its capacity and skills to put out any fires reported, on time.
Fire brigade currently has firefighting trucks stationed at the regional level with plans to acquire more at the district level.
As part of the response to fire, RNP and the City of Kigali also established water hydrants in strategic locations in the city for easy access to water sources to put out fires.
Meanwhile, during the launch of the campaign, the Police firefighters demonstrated their capacity and capabilities to put out fire in real time.