BY BUSEIN SAMILU
The government has issued fire safety guidelines that it said schools should implement to prevent and handle fire outbreaks. Before they reopen for First Term, schools according to the latest guidelines issued by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) should, among others, ensure they all have functioning fire extinguishers, install fire and smoke detectors, fire horse reels, avail emergency exits well labelled, improved roofing, fire hydrants, among others.
The Executive Secretary of the NBRB, Ms Flavia G. Bwire, told journalists on Monday that many schools are prone to fires because they have not put in place adequate fire-fighting measures.
“The NBRB has since 2020 investigated different fires in schools and found out that the incidents that have resulted in deaths in schools are common, [whereby] all dormitories were crowded, presence of combustible materials, no automatic fire detector or alarm system, and some schools lacked firefighting equipment,” she said.
Ms Bwire added: “There was inconsiderate use of burglar proofing with regard to life safety, lack of knowl- edge on fire safety and emergency response, inaccessible dormitories and lack of emergency exits.”
Many schools have in the last five years experienced fire outbreaks leading to deaths, with the recent one being Kasana Junior School in Masaka City, which claimed the lives of seven pupils and injured five others on October 29, 2023.