Fire disaster preparedness and situational analysis in higher learning institutions of Tanzania
Kihila, Jacob M.
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Fire disasters are accompanied with devastating impact affecting both lives and properties. The magnitude of the impacts has been severe in places with low levels of fire disaster preparedness. A study was conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to investigate the level of fire disaster preparedness considering the availability and condition of firefighting facilities as well as the knowledge on fire management among the selected 10 higher learning institutions. Information for the buildings was obtained from the interviews with the managers of the buildings and field observations; information on the user’s preparedness was obtained from interviews using structured questionnaire conducted with the users of the buildings including the visitors. Results from the studied buildings indicated that 60% of the firefighting facilities were not regularly serviced; 50% stored some hazardous materials; 70% of them had not enough water storage for firefighting purposes; 60% had no identifiable fire assembly points; and 90% of the sessions conducted in the buildings involved more than 100 people in a single venue. Further results indicated that 51% of the respondents were not able to operate the installed firefighting facilities; 80.7% of the respondents had never received any training on firefighting and prevention; 95.6% of the respondents had never participated in any fire drills; and 81.5% of them were not aware of the fire responder’s contacts. General situation indicated that higher learning institutions are not well prepared to manage fire outbreaks suggesting that plans to rectify the situation are imperative.