ASSESSMENT OF FIRE SAFETY MANAGEMENT AND ADEQUACY OF THE EXISTING CONTROL MEASURES IN KENYA POWER; NAIROBI REGION
Keywords:Health risk, fire safety, management practices, fire incidents, control measures, fire safety standards
In the recent past, there has been an increase in fire incidents in Kenya which have affected dwellings and workplaces. These incidents have led to loss of life, property and injuries. In the workplaces, loss of property translates to loss of plant, product and/or information; most of the time organizations never recover fully from these effects. Not only are fire outbreaks a safety and health risk; they also adversely affect the social, economic and environmental conditions of an organization. Kenya Power has a number of operations whose incorporation of fire safety is paramount to reduce/eliminate fire incidents. The study aimed at assessing fire safety management practices and adequacy of the existing control measures in Kenya Power, Nairobi Region. Descriptive research design that adapted both quantitative and qualitative approaches was used. Questionnaires were administered to 306 respondents using stratified random sampling and simple random sampling methods. Additional information was obtained by conducting interviews on purposively selected key informants e.g. safety officers. An observation checklist containing pertinent issues concerning fire safety was also developed to aid in carrying out workplace inspections. Secondary data was also obtained from the existing records. A total of thirty two workplaces i.e. offices, stores, substations, electrical workshops, garages, vehicle parking areas and welding areas were used for the study. The findings show that the relationship between fire safety training and period of service of the respondents had the highest statistical significance (χ2=15.7, p=0.001, df=3). Some of the control measures which would assist in reducing fire risk lacked completely or lacked in most of the organization’s workplaces for example conducting fire drills and fire risk assessments, presence of evacuation procedures, among others. The study found some gaps in the organization’s fire safety management practices with most of practices below the set fire safety standards. This study therefore recommends for a complete overhaul of the practices so as to promote fire safety of all the employees.