AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT OF FIRE OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA.
Background of the study
From the earliest period, the fire that allowed man to prepare food, fight off predators, forge tools and even helped him to withstand harsh cold has also been a perpetual peril to him. The history of occupational fire danger inflicting substantial harm is quite ancient. The Great Fire of Rome (67CE) started in the shops of merchants who sold flammable goods near the Circus Maximus, while the Great Fire of London (1666CE) wasstarted in a bakery, within amerchant's district that held oil,pitch, tar, coal, tallow, fats, sugar, alcohol, turpentine, and gunpowder. As with the other occurrences, the Great Fire of London led to conditions that were previously tolerable being reclassified as dangerous (Kodur et al., 2019). (Kodur et al., 2019). Fire danger in buildings may be described as the possibility of accidental or purposeful fire to jeopardize life, structural, and property safety in a structure. Fire danger comprise of all variables existing in a structure that might produce ignite, increase fire severity, incapacitate building fire safety measures, and hamper escape or fire fighting Based on existing information, it is claimed that cooking is the major cause of fire in both residential and non-residential buildings (USFA, 2016). (USFA, 2016). Other causes of ignition in buildings include all live fires, heaters and hot surfaces, electrical fault, pyrotechnics, and arson and vandalism (Drysdale, 2021). (Drysdale, 2021). With fast expansion around the world, fire danger in buildings have experienced substantial alteration in terms of severity and adaptability and have been an increasing worry in recent years(Brushlinsky et al., 2017). (Brushlinsky et al., 2017). Another form of fire threat, particularly in inhabited areas near to natural lands, is one emerging from forest fires (wildfires) (wildfires). Due to growth in human encroachment on the wild land urban interface, number of structures and people living in the fire prone wild land is increased dramatically in recent years. This has made wildfires, coming mostly from arson and lightning, a significant source of fire danger in wild land urban settings around the world (Kodur et al., 2019). (Kodur et al., 2019). In USA alone, an average of 66,903 wildfires occurred during 2009-2018 which burnt an average of 6.9 million acres and incurred an average of US$1.8bn for fire fighting expenditures. In 2018, a total of 25,790 structures were destroyed by wildfires including 18,137 residences, 6,927 minor structures, and 229 commercial/mixed residential structures; which is highest number of structures lost to wildfires since 1999 and almost double of previous highest of 12,306 in 2017 (NICC, 2018). (NICC, 2018). When man started to dwell in villages and subsequently construct cities the likelihood of a wildfire expanding into a firestorm increased. A conflagration is an intense, area-wide, devastating fire marked by huge sheets of flame and cyclonic winds. Severe updraft in a conflagration causes winds on the periphery to reach near hurricane intensity and may draw individuals into the inferno (Arnold, 2021). (Arnold, 2021). Many of the conflagrations have happened as subsequent eventsto natural disasters,such as volcanic eruptions, floods, earthquakes that breach natural gas lines, and lightning from strong thunderstorms. There are manufactured ignitions as well, such carelessness with open flames and smoldering materials. The worst single site fire in the world, which killed 1,700 people, was a 1949 inferno at a Chungking, China riverside complex (Arnold, 2021). (Arnold, 2021). Some conflagrations had been intentionally ignited by incendiary bombing of cities, notably Coventry (800 died) and London (1,500 killed), England; Hamburg (100,000 killed) and Dresden (300,000 killed), Germany; and Tokyo, Japan (185,000 dead) (185,000 killed). Some of these conflagrations were so violent, individuals on the fringes perished from oxygen deprivation as 125 to 150 mph winds fuelled the firestorms and sucked air from their lungs. These strong flames will burst structures as they approach, owing to the air pressure differential between the inside and outside of the building, and generally burn all buildings in a city down to the brick walls, with no steel surviving (Arnold, 2021). (Arnold, 2021). Fire is the fast oxidation of a substance in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, generating heat, light and different reaction products. At a specific point in the combustion process termed the ignition point, flames are formed. The flame is the visible part of fire (Fire History, 2019). (Fire History, 2019). The danger of fire is one of the biggest risks to health and safety, property and the delivery of key services in any society. Fire breakouts typically happen accidently, purposefully or out of negligence, and when it occurs it may ruin, frighten and injure people as well as property. It might equally contribute to the deterioration in socio-economic and physical development of a society
Statement of the problem
The emergence of fires is a persistent concern in Nigeria, and they have been responsible for the loss of life as well as the damage of property (Fire history, 2019). The majority of fire outbreaks in Nigeria take place in public marketplaces, although they also take place often in other parts of the country. In light of the fact that fires have recently broken out in a number of different regions in Nigeria, it is crucial to do research on the factors that lead to fires breaking out in Nigeria as well as the effects those fires have on the surrounding environment.
Objective of the study
The general objective of the study is to investigate the causes and environmental effect of fire outbreak in Nigeria. The specific objectives is as follows:
To find out the causes of fire outbreak in Nigeria.
To examine the effect of fire outbreak in Nigeria.
To investigate the environmental implications caused by fire outbreak in Nigeria.
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
What are the causes of fire outbreak in Nigeria?
What are the effect of fire outbreak in Nigeria?
What are the environmental implications caused by fire outbreak in Nigeria?
Significance of the study
This study will be significant to the Nigerian government as it will be exposed to the menance of fire outbreak in Nigeria especially during harmattan and figure out a way to salvage the situation.
The study will also be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on the causes and environmental effect of fire outbreak in Nigeria. The study will be carried out in Abuja, FCT of Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition of terms
Causes: a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.
Environment: the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.