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Media Houses urged to adopt precautionary measures against Fire outbreaks

By: Ebenezer Kofi Amponsah
Chief fire Officer, Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie(Middle)

The Ghana National fire service has urged media houses to adopt precautionary measures to safeguard their facilities in the event of any fire outbreaks.
Addressing the press in Accra, the Chief fire officer, Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie said so far the service has conducted fire safety audit in thousand eight hundred and eighty Institutions in the country between June 2015 and June2017.
According to him, majority of the eighty three media houses the service visited also failed to meet the safety audit test.  
Among some of the observations made by the fire safety Directorate include non-properly installed fire extinguishers, extinguishers hidden behind walls, naked wires and non-classified extinguishers
Others include lack of directional signs, lack of emergency exit among others.
He however advised media houses, institutions to identify hotspots like circuit systems, electrical installations that have the potential to cause fire and take precautionary measures against them.
The chief fire Officer noted that series of training would be provided for media houses on fire safety prevention.
He appealed to individuals, various Institutions in the country to be responsible for their safety and desist from holding the service liable for any undesirable fires that could have been prevented. ’’ Individuals, Institutions should take responsibility for their own safety. Fire service do not set fire, we respond to fire outbreaks. Fire service should not be responsible for your own personal safety, when there is an outbreak of fire, people will lose their lives and investment. All of us should have the duty to prevent the occurrence of fire outbreaks.’’ He emphasised.
He said apart from some few fire outbreaks recorded in the first quarter of the year, the service recorded about 116 electrical fires with majority of them recorded in domestic households and beaches.
Others he said occurred on electrical poles, transformers, meters as a result of their exposure to the vegarities of the weather.
He added that despite a 41% reduction in fire outbreaks in the country, Ghana National fire Service will train volunteers from various Institutions to provide the first response in any fire outbreak before the service arrives. He noted ‘’Institutions  would be advised to provide  volunteers who will be  trained as fire wardens to give a firsthand response  in the initial evacuation in the event of fire outbreak  before the fire service arrives.’’  
He further cautioned state institutions that have still not complied with safety requirement expected of them to do so as the safety Directorate will embark on some exercises  to  state Institutions to ensure  they adhere to safety precautions.’’ By law all public places, government offices are supposed to acquire fire certificate but  the unfortunate situation is that some of them have still not complied with the safety precautions and we are seriously concerned about it, Government Institutions that have not acquire fire certificate should be ready  we are coming there next week.’’ He noted.
 The Chief fire Officer asked Institutions especially state ones not to allow anything to hinder them from complying with safety precautions as  destructions caused by fire may not only affect them but also has negative socioeconomic consequences.
 ‘’The mere issue of budgetary constraint should not be a factor to damage state property. some of them don’t  even need huge sums of  money, it’s a matter of been proactive so that  In the event of any fire outbreak  the state will not lose vulnerable archival document  like loan agreement, contract document which sometimes do not have  backups ’’he observed.
Dr. Gaisie further advised churches, market women, shops to conserve energy as the misuse of electricity in these places has the potential to cause fire.
E-mail: Kofi



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