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GH¢24m property lost to fire

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Ghana has lost almost GH¢24 million to fire outbreaks within the last two and half years.

According to statistics available at the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), a total of 7,670 fire outbreaks occurred between January 2008 and June 201 0 leading to 102 deaths, 119 injuries and damages worth GH¢23,964,380.

The statistics indicate that the Greater Accra Region recorded the highest num­ber of fire outbreaks, with 2002 reported cases. The Ashanti Region followed closely with 1,823 fire incidents.

The Brong Ahafo and the Central Region recorded 821 and 732 cases, respectively, with the Eastern and Western regions recording 494 and 379 cases of fire outbreaks, respectively.

The Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions recorded 301, 304 and 379 cases of fire outbreaks respectively.

The Volta Region recorded the least cases with 42 outbreaks.

The GNFS statistics further indicate that, of the total 7670 fire outbreaks that occurred between January 2008 and June 2010, 3,129 were as a result of domestic fires. Two hundred and sixty five, were as a result of industrial fires, while 883, were as a result of vehicular fires.

Institutional fires accounted for 183 fire outbreaks, while electrical fires accounted for 617 fire outbreaks nation­wide.

Seven hundred and twenty three fire outbreaks, were due to commercial fires, with 1007 outbreaks occurring as a result of bush fires.

A further 863 outbreaks, were due to other causes.

Commenting on the high spate of fire outbreaks in the country, Mr Elise Robin­son Okoe of the Public Relation Department of GNFS said carelessness was the main cause for the high incidences of fire outbreaks in the country.

Mr Okoe told The Mirror that people do not adhere to fire safety regulations, more so in the industries.

He noted that the high rate of fire outbreaks in markets around the country was mainly because markets in the country lack fire wardens, who were supposed to go round after daily market activities to ensure that open fires, such as candle fire, charcoal fire and other types of fire, were not left unattended    to in stores.

Mr Okoe blamed market planners for their continuous failure to consult the GNFS, for fire safety advice before build­ing markets.

He mention lack of modern equip­ment as one problem confronting the GNFS and disclosed that steps had already been taken to procure modern equipment from India, Belgium and the USA, to augment what they currently have.

Mr Okoe further cautioned Ghanaians to be extremely careful during this har    mattan period so as not to cause fire that would lead to loss of lives and dam­age to property.

“When you are going out, ensure that fires from gas cookers, kerosene stoves, charcoal pots and so on are put of. It’s also very important to ensure that all elec­trical appliances are switched off. These should help prevent unnecessary fire  outbreaks,” he explained.

Source: The Mirror

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