Adequacy of Fire Safety Measures of Residential Buildings in Peri-Urban Neighbourhoods of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Keywords:Fire safety, peri-urban, residential, building codes, passive fire control
The spate of fire outbreaks and the lack of capacity to mitigate the incidence in most urban areas reflect the violation of physical planning regulations and relevant building codes. In the past two decades, the peri-urban neighbourhoods have witnessed rapid developments as a result of the growing population in these areas. However, the level of compliance of various developments with the provisions of the existing National Fire Safety Code remains unclear. Consequently, an assessment of the adequacy of fire safety provisions vis-à-vis the effectiveness of the fire safety standards in rapidly urbanising communities became imperative. This study examined the adequacy of fire safety measures of residential buildings in peri-urban neighbourhoods of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Relevant studies were reviewed while structured questionnaires were administered to 320 respondents across four towns in Lagelu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA). A total 296 questionnaires were retrieved representing 92.5% rate of response. Responses were analysed with basic descriptive statistic tools. The mean scores were interpreted using cut-off points and results presented in tables and charts. The study found that human activities and attitudes constituted the principal causes of fire incidence and that there is good compliance with passive fire control guidelines in the study area. However, the active fire control systems were grossly deficient in residential buildings. Moreover, lack of active fire control equipment, lack of community fire safety apparatus, and lack of reliable water supply constituted the principal challenges against effective fire control measures facing the neighbourhoods. Whilst filling the gap in literature especially on fire hazards in peri-urban areas, the study recommended the strict compliance with extant fire safety codes by property owners, provision of community fire safety apparatus by the government, residents’ awareness programs on fire safety measures, subsidized active firefighting equipment and improvement of road and water infrastructure, amongst others.
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