The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has appealed to developers to seek professional advice when fixing burglar proofs on houses.
“Preferably, burglar proof systems, which can easily be removed during an emergency should be the best option,” a statement from GNFS said.
The statement signed by Ellis Robinson Okoe, Acting Head of Public Relations, said the Service was obliged to advise the general public because it had observed in recent times the spate of deaths as a result of people trapped by burglar proof during fire outbreaks.
It said in most cases, the wrongful placement of burglar proof gates and windows had hindered fire rescue operations by firemen during fire incidents resulting in the death of victims.
Citing an example, the statement recalled the recent fire incident at the Wa Campus of the University of Development Studies where students in a hostel were trapped by the burglar proof resulting in injuries to victims and the subsequent death of some of them.
It said: “Our current construction of houses put so many premiums on security to the detriment of safety, while we spend so much money to reinforce all openings in buildings with burglar proofs,” the statement said.
“We fail to install simple smoke detectors in them,” it said and appealed to occupants to put in place proper housekeeping practices such as prevention of obstruction at exits.
The statement said keys to burglar proofs should be made accessible and families should rehearse their escape from their barricaded homes as preparedness for eventualities.
The Service also advised the citizenry not to compromise their safety to that of security of their property.