General News of Wednesday, 8 January 2020
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has recorded over 200 cases of fire within 11 days, Assistant Station Officer at Service Michael Walter Okai has revealed.
He stated that the fires occurred between the period 24th December to 3rd January and covered reports from across the country.
“Normally carelessness has been the major cause of fire outbreaks in the country,” he said.
Fire outbreaks have been rampant of late in the country with most recent fires occurring at Agbogloshie and Achimota all in Accra.
The causes of the fires have been associated with the current Harmattan season.
Speaking on Joy News’ The Pulse on Tuesday, Mr Okai stated that the general public’s reluctance to adhere to safety measures provided by the service against fires has been a major challenge the Service has been battling with.
“We sometimes take safety as a nine-day wonder, meanwhile safety is supposed to be a culture: safety is a way of life, so we don’t practice it today and forget about it tomorrow,” he said.
He also cautioned the public against calling on the media instead of the fire service during fire outbreaks as he stated that reaching out to firemen in time could save matters.
“This morning I was on a sister station when these fires occurred. Instead of calling the fire service they called on the FM station. That was how the case was reported,” he said and further explained that such reports cause a lot of inconvenience for them as firemen.
He, however, stated that the Fire Service has not given up on doing its best to ensure that fire cases are reduced, if not put out completely in the country.
“Normally what happens is that from the last quarter to the first quarter that spans from October to March, we normally have a programme for the last period and the first period,’ he revealed.
He added that other activities including the operation Free Xmas campaign where servicemen reached out to the public in markets and other places with education on how to prevent and deal with fires were launched but have proved to be futile.
He further provided safety measures such as, “desisting from using naked fires, knowing how to use and handle naked fires in case the need to use them arises and putting out the fires at the appropriate times.”
He further cautioned the public against unauthorised electrical connections and advised that cooking should not be done with loose clothes.