Ghana lost GH¢19 million to fire outbreaks in 2019

Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) data has shown that the country lost about GH¢19 million to fire outbreaks between January and September this year.

Ghana lost GH¢19 million to fire outbreaks in 2019

According to the service, this had come about as the consequence of 4,476 fire outbreaks that were recorded within the period.

The statistics further showed that fire incidents also claimed 271 lives and left 1,714 persons with varying degrees of injury.

The Ashanti Region topped the chart with 878 fire outbreaks, while the Greater Accra Region followed with 762 cases.

The region with the least cases of fire was the North East Region with 18 fire outbreaks.

The causes of the fire outbreaks were categorised as domestic, industrial, vehicular, institutional, electrical, commercial and bushfire.

Fires from commercial establishments topped with 658 cases in the period under review.

Disregard for fire safety

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GNFS, Divisional Officer II, Mr Ellis Robinson Okoe while in an interview with Accra based Daily Graphic, attributed the situation to people and companies’ disregard for fire safety rules.

He said the reason for the rise in commercial fire outbreaks was because most markets in the country were wired illegally and cooking also went on there, exposing the places to naked flames.

“People are only eager to do business and do not pay attention to safety requirements. Rather than get electricity properly connected, they instead do illegal connections which are likely to result in fire,” Mr Okoe explained.

“Others also cook their daily meals in their shops and sometimes they mistakenly leave the fire without putting it off when leaving for home. Later, this fire comes into contact with combustible materials and a blaze is started which then spreads,” he added.

Christmas caution

Mr Okoe further urged companies to ensure that all gadgets and switches were turned off before they went on the Christmas break.

He also called for waste paper to be disposed of properly if they must be burned so that fire from the incinerator did not get into contact with any combustible material.

“All companies, if possible, should have safety officers who must check every corner to ensure that all was safe,” the PRO said

He warned against the use of firecrackers, adding that the level of explosives in some of them could also trigger fire outbreaks, especially when they came into contact with other combustible materials.

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