Media urged to assist in fire safety education

Samira Larbie, GNA

Accra, Sept. 20, GNA – Mr Edwin Ekow Blankson,
the Acting Chief Fire Officer, Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has called
on the media to assist in a rigorous and continues public education on fire
safety to reduce the spate of fire outbreaks in the country.

He said this was imperative to the GNFS
because as at July 2018, they had recorded 3,801 fires, which constituted 9.7
per cent increase in outbreaks over last year.

The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) speaking at a
press conference in Accra said this was very alarming because as at the end of
July 2016, a total of 4,973 outbreaks was recorded, which saw a number of
strategies put in place to ensure total fire safety for the protection of lives
and properties across the country.

Due to this he said, in July 2017, the number
of outbreaks reduced to 3,432 fires, which constituted 44.9 per cent reduction.

Mr Blankson said the current increase in the
numbers called for a number of measures to be put in place as the country was
yet to enter the dry season.

He said it was however, important that the
media effectively educated the public on fire safety to ensure that these
undesired fires are reduced.

“Fire safety was a shared responsibility and
when all stakeholders play their effective roles we would be safe from
undesired fires, he said.

The CFO said fire safety education had not
been given the needed attention it deserves on a daily basis, adding that,
investigations conducted into fire outbreaks continue to reveal negligence and
carelessness as major causes of fires especially in homes.

He said a recent revelation by the Ghana
Standards authority on the influx of substandard electrical products on the
market was a huge cause for worry to the service as electrical fires are on the
ascendancy in homes due to the choice of inferior electrical products over
quality ones.

Mr Blankson said even though the GNFS had
limited resources they would continue to design and disseminate effective fire
prevention and safety information in all parts of across the country.

“We shall embark on door to door fire
education campaign within the various communities in an attempt to drum home
the message of fire safety. Fire commanders at all levels shall submit periodic
reports to the CFO as a way of monitoring progress in the various regions,” he

The CFO, said fire safety messages will
continue to be disseminated extensively through all media outlets, a Regional
and District Fire Prevention and safety teams would as well be sent to
organisations and public places to intensify the education.

He said a special task force had been formed
to check on the fire safety status of all petrol and gas filling stations
across the country, as well as patrol teams that would watch vital
installations and high patronage public places to assist in fire prevention.

“What is more, is to ensure that all homes in
the country are kept under some quantum of fire safety cover, LI 1724 (Fire
Precaution Premises Regulation), 2003 has been amended, in addition to fire
safety in homes.”

The amended LI 2249 of 2016 requires every home
owner to provide the fire safety cover in the home, failure of which, will lead
to prosecution and subsequent fine or imprisonment or both,” he stated.

He appealed to the media to help provide free
air time and print space to personnel of the GNFS across the country for the
dissemination of fire safety information to the public.

“So long as fires would continue to occur, it
would be important that the media continually assist the GNFS to intensify
education in the country,” he added.

Mr Blankson noted that the number of fires
would reduce drastically when individuals observe fire safety and prevention
standards and urged all to step up their observation of fire precaution and
safety measures for a total fire safety.

He announced that in other to curb the rate of
bushfires that have consumed most of the vegetative cover of the Savannah
regions of the North, which was gradually progressing to the Brong Ahafo
Region, the 2018/2019 National Anti-Bush Fire campaign would be launched in the
region to create awareness to limit the occurrence.


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