Ogun - There was confusion on Tuesday at the Ogun State Secretariat, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, as many workers took to their heels following a fire simulation exercise by the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA).
Simulation is a situation in which a particular set of condition is created artificially in order to study or experience something that could exist in reality.
A NAN correspondent, who was at the secretariat complex at 11:08am, reports that many civil servants were seen fleeing from their offices to escape being trapped in the building.
The exercise, which featured the burning of tyres, sent smoke into the secretariat.
NEMA’s Coordinator in the South West, Mr Iyiola Akande, told NAN that the essence of the alarm was for the agency to assess how civil servants would react to fire outbreak.
He said that it was also an evacuation drill aimed at educating workers on what to do in the event of fire outbreak.
The coordinator further said that the exercise would enable the agency to assess the level of readiness of facilities needed to combat inferno.
Addressing the workers, Akande, who apologised for not informing them about the exercise, said fire does tell before it comes.
He said the exercise was carried out in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA) and other stakeholders as part of preparations for an outbreak of fire.
Akande told the civil servants that smoke ladened with carbon monoxide generated during fire outbreak in buildings usually killed faster than the fire itself.
He said victims normally suffer suffocation before being consumed by the inferno and advised them to first move out into the open in the event of fire.
Akande also explained that the simulation exercise had made it possible for NEMA and other stakeholders to ascertain the safety measures provided in the buildings.
He stressed the need for the secretariat to be equipped with adequate facilities to check fire out break.
Also speaking, the Commander, Ogun State Fire Service, Mr Olusegun Ajibola, advised civil servants to be conversant with all the exit points in the different offices.
He warned them against panic in such an emergency situation so as avoid making mistakes that could result in their being trapped in the inferno.