Chief fire officer urges Ghanaians to observe fire safety precautions

The Chief Fire Officer Dr. Albert Brown-Gaisie has re-echoed the need to appreciate and understand fire safety and observe necessary precautions to mitigate fire outbreaks in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the Home Fire Safety Certification Project in Cape Coast, Dr. Brown-Gaisie urged citizens to welcome fire officers who would be deployed to educate households on fire safety and precautionary measures.

The Ghana National Fire Service in August 2016 launched the nationwide Home Fire Safety Certification project to ensure that all home owners and individuals obtain fire certificates for their places of abode.

Statistics at the GNFS indicate that domestic fires which occurred from 2012 to 2015 represented 41.02 per cent of the fire outbreaks recorded nationwide in the same period.

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In all, 24,500 fires occurred in the country in the last four years, out of which 10,051 were domestic fires.

The Chief Fire Officer Dr Albert Brown-Gaisie mentioned that most household fires are as a result of nonconformity to fire safety precautions.

He mentioned negligence, carelessness and ignorance as the underlying factors leading to domestic fires in Ghana, hence the need for massive awareness creation across the country.

Touching on the Home Fire Safety Certification Project, Dr Gaisie said personnel of the service, as well as members of the community fire protection assistants (CFPAs), would go round households to educate occupants on fire safety and precautionary measures to be taken in case there was an outbreak of fire on their premises.

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He advised the citizenry to avail themselves for fire education in order to avoid preventable fires and ultimately protect lives and property.

ACFO Fanny Simpson Central Regional Fire Officer explained that in collaboration with its partners the project will provide every home with one fire extinguisher as well as a smoke detector.

She indicated that the Home fire safety certification project is to improve fire safety concerns of various homes through fire safety education, inspection and training.

The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service DO Prince Billy-Anaglate said with the project fire officers includes risk assessment of homes to determine hazards and recommend mitigation factors.

He said the Service is now focusing more on fire prevention as against fire fighting and called for increased public collaboration stressing that fire safety is a shared responsibility.

At a similar launch in Takoradi, the Western Regional Fire Officer ACFO Obeng Dankwa Dwamena said the Ghana National Service has proactively made fire safety and prevention its primary focus.

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He explained that the service in recent years intensified public fire safety education to inculcate a culture of safety in the general public.

He indicated that out of 243 fires reported in the Western region in 2014, 107 occurred in homes representing 44%.

In 2015 a total of 401 fire incidents were reported in the Western region out of which 161 fires were domestic with 20 persons suffering injuries and 7 deaths.

In the first quarter of 2016, 375 fires have been recorded with 104 being domestic fires.

ACFO Dwamena stressed that these statistics highlight the need to intensify public education on fire safety and prevention.

He therefore called on the general public in collaborate with the fire service to reduce the occurrence of undesired fires especially in homes.

The Deputy Western Regional Minister Ekow Gyan assured of government’s support to the Ghana National Fire Service.

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He mentioned that government had adequately resourced the fire service but there was the need for citizens participation in ensuring fire safety and prevention.

He urged the general public to adhere to building codes as well as fire safety precautions to prevent avoidable fires and protect lives and properties.

By: Richard Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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