The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) office in Koforidua and 23 other companies have been fined a total of GH₵720 by a Koforidua Circuit Court for failing to comply with fire precaution regulations.
They were also found guilty of operating in premises without fire certificates.
The culprit companies were dragged to court, by the Ghana National Fire Service.
While the ECG was admitted by the court presided over by Mrs. Priscilla Yeboah, a fine of 30 penalty units or GH₵360 as prescribed by Fire Precautions Regulations (LI) 172 4 of 2003), the other companies were fined between 20 and 30 penalty units or GH₵240 and GH₵ 360, respectively.
In addition, the court gave them a two week ultimatum to initiate the acquisition of fire certificates without which their premises would be closed down.
The other organizations are the Koforidua Polytechnic, Safegold Hotel, Samplet Educational Institute, Macnold Printing Press, Padmore Printing Press and Providence Medical.
The rest are Peace Hostel, Yasetko Hostel, Santex Hostel, Central Hostel, Kwamens Hotel, Sir Joe Hostel, Adedjie Hostel, Papobi Hotel, Vineyard Hostel, Universal Hostel, Whiterose Guesthouse, Translink Hotel, Lord Hostel, New York City Hostel, Ohenewaa Guesthouse, Supreme Hostel and Ajubi Vila Hostel.
Prosecuting, Ako Korsah, Divisional Fire Officer told the court that the companies were found to have violated the fire regulations during an ongoing fire audit of public and private business premises in the Eastern Region.
He said during the exercise, the offending companies were found not to have installed fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors.
He explained that ECG, for instance, was advised and served with a letter to acquire a fire certificate for the premises, referring them to the LI 1724 of 2003, but it failed to comply.
Furthermore, he explained, that the ECG was again served with a reminder on May 15, this year and were given ultimatum to acquire a fire certificate or have sanctions imposed on them, but again it failed to comply.
“The company continued to operate without a fire certificate as required by the precaution regulations LI 1724 of 2003,” he said and prayed that per risk posed by the management of the company and the violations they have committed, the court should apply the sanctions stipulated in Section 20 (4) of the LI 1724 of 2003.
He prayed for an injunction on the company until their premises is subjected to fire extinguishers examinations and certificate.
However, instead of placing an injunction on the ECG building, the court ordered the ECG to quickly process its certificate in a month since the building was a new one.
The rest of the companies were also ordered by the court to fulfill all fire safety requirements.