‘Be careful with fire during harmattan season’
The Upper West Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service has warned that with the approach of the harmattan season, more fire outbreaks will be experienced if the people do not change their attitude towards the use of fire.
Speaking on the sidelines of a five-day regional training programme on road traffic accidents and fire fighting last Monday, Mr James Ankrah, the Acting Wa Municipal Fire Officer, said about 90 per cent of the fire outbreaks could be attributed to human factors.
He regretted that for January this year alone, 21 fire outbreaks had already been recorded and those were five more than the 16 cases they recorded in January last year.
He, therefore, called for vigilance in the use of gas and electrical appliances for domestic purposes to prevent domestic accidents.
According to Mr Ankrah, the service would be strict with the enforcement of laws and regulation which made it mandatory for all public premises to possess a firefighting certificate which ensured that they had safe and effective means to escape in case of any fire outbreak.
Mr Ankrah indicated that they would also embark on an exercise to inspect premises such as mosques, churches, schools, and filling stations, to ensure that such premises had adequate firefighting equipment.
According to him, statistics indicate that the region recorded a total of 195 fire cases last year and these were seven more than the 188 cases recorded in 2012.
Out of the 2013 number, 94 cases were domestic fires, 10 vehicular cases, 27 bush fires , 25 commercial cases, nine industrial cases and 30 cases of accidents to extricate victims.
Mr Ankrah regretted that currently, there were only two fire hydrants in the whole municipality but expressed the hope that with the completion of the ongoing water project, more would be provided.
He appealed to landlords who had mechanised boreholes to make it possible for the people to draw water when the need arose.
He further appealed to the clergy and Imams to use their pulpits to preach about fire precautionary measures to their congregations periodically.
The in-service training for some selected 120 personnel was aimed at sharpening their skills to be abreast of current issues and to make them ready for any fire outbreak and head-on traffic collisions on the roads.
They were taken through various exercises, including the rescuing of victims during vehicular accidents and general firefighting procedures.
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