The Federal Fire Service on Tuesday said property worth over N16 billion was lost in 809 fire incidents in Abuja and Lagos from January 2015 to June 2016.
A document made available to newsmen in Abuja by the FFS also disclosed that within 18 months, property worth N70 billion was saved, while 29 people lost their lives and 58 were rescued.
The document further said that the incidents involved 79 public and government buildings, 239 private buildings, three educational establishments, nine shops and 61 petrol stations, among others.
It said that electrical equipment was responsible for 28 fire incidents; electric sparks were responsible for 119, gas explosion was responsible for five; while high voltage was responsible for five and bomb blast responsible for two of the incidents.
The document said that most of the fire outbreaks were as a result of human failing, and therefore, expressed the need for people to be more careful and watchful in this dry season to minimise the rate of fire incidents.
It said: “Fire is friendly as we handle it carefully, but destroys and kills on our carelessness; most fires in our homes start from the kitchen and kitchen fires result mainly from human failings.
“Therefore, kitchen fire outbreaks can be minimised by doing the following: not leaving what you are cooking unattended to, putting your gas cylinder outside your kitchen and returning a leaking cylinder to the dealer .
“If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop to the ground and roll over and over on the ground.
“Do not run as it will only fan the flames then cover your face with your hands to protect your throat, and limbs from burns.”
The service also advised Nigerians to cool a burn with running cool water for five to 10 minutes to prevent continued burning and relieve the pain.
It urged people not to put their generator close to the window or along the corridor because the fumes or smoke could kill quietly.
It also advised people not to hoard fuel at home, office or both as it could lead to fire outbreaks and burn persons, adding that people should also stop fueling their generator while the engine was on as it could spark up fire.
The service said: “We should take the issue of fire safety seriously and join hands to prevent it by abiding by the safety rules and regulations, especially the during the harmattan season so as to guarantee the safety of lives and property.”