The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has recorded 1,539 fire outbreaks in the first quarter of the year.
The Chief Fire Officer, Dr Albert Brown Gaisie, who described the record as alarming, stated that the Greater Accra Region had the highest fire outbreaks of 552.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Accra last Friday, he attributed the outbreaks to the harmattan season at the beginning of the year and other factors.
The Ashanti Region recorded 397 fire outbreaks followed by the Central Region with 159.
The stakeholders’ meeting was aimed at engaging various stakeholders in dialogue sessions to formulate strategies to strengthen fire management measures to prevent fire outbreaks, especially during the Easter season.
The meeting was also intended to enable stakeholders to harmonise their programmes so as to ensure effective coordination among them.
Stakeholders present included the Town and Country Planning Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the National Ambulance Service.
Dr Gaisie said the GNFS had observed the construction of high rise buildings in the metropolis and urged the owners of those buildings to make provisions for emergency exits in case of any fire outbreaks and other incidents.
“It is the responsibility of the fire service to evacuate people from a building but without these exits, our work will be made very difficult,” he added.
He called on developers to make it easier for the GNFS to facilitate extrication and rescue in the case of emergency.
Dr Gaisie said that a safety audit exercise was being conducted by the GNFS at some institutions and the ministries to ensure that they had adequate fire safety measures put in place to prevent future fire outbreaks.
After the audit, reports would be taken to the various institutions and they were expected to comply with the safety measures laid out for them.
Dr Gaisie also stated that the GNFS would embark on a simulation exercise to test the emergency preparedness of institutions which had a large number of people.
Dr Gaisie advised the public to remember to turn off all electric gadgets before going out for their Easter programmes to ensure a fire free festive season.
The Operations Consultant for the National Ambulance Service, Mr George Ashie, stated that the service had made three additional ambulances and officers available for fire emergencies during the season.
He added that they were ever ready to support the GNFS to fight against fire outbreaks in the country.
Source: Graphic Online