The Western Region recorded a total of one hundred and sixty three reported fire incidents in the first quarter of this year as against 297 cases last year, representing a 45 per cent decrease.
Out of the figure, 53 were bush fires, with 51 recorded domestic cases, 21 commercial, 14 vehicular, eight industrial, seven each of electrical and others with two institutional fires.
The Regional Fire Officer ACFO Obeng Dankwa Dwamena announced this during the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) open-day at Fijai in the Western Region.
The day according to him, was dedicated to fostering a closer relationship with members of the general public as they opened their doors to welcome all to visit the various stations across the nation, adding that “such relationship was very important since fire safety was everybody’s business and members of the public were important stakeholders whose support could help the Fire Service achieve its mandate of fire prevention”.
He said an estimated cost of GH¢823,614.82 of property was damaged whiles an amount of GH¢469,500.00 worth of property was salvaged.
ACFO Dwamena said eight motor accidents were also recorded within the period which resulted in 27 injuries and 11 deaths.
The Regional Commander attributed the reduction in the number of cases to the intensified public fire safety education, coupled with radio programmes and community education, visits to schools, religious institutions and markets.
“While we reached out to the general public to educate them on basic dos and don’ts of fire safety, we also expect that individuals will adhere to the fire prevention advice we give and report incidents promptly to enable us respond quickly,” he added.
ACFO Dwamena said the provision of early detection and warning systems in homes, workplaces cannot be overemphasize since they help to protect lives by detecting the fire early and sounding alarm and encouraged all to obtain fire extinguishers and smoke detectors for their homes and workplaces.
He however cautioned against the making of prank calls or false alarm, noting that in the first quarter of the year, the station recorded a total of four false alarms as against two last year and warned that it was an offence punishable by law to make a prank call.
The Regional Fire Commander, advised motorists to quickly give way to fire tenders when they blew sirens and beacon lights were flashed to indicate that they were attending to emergencies.
He stressed the need for the public to help reduce the occurrence of undesired fires in the Western Region and prevent loss of lives and property by adhering to the public fire safety education.
The Regional Commander called on corporate institutions as well as government agencies especially Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to also support the service to achieve its aim of reducing undesired fires to the barest minimum and to also protect the environment.
The day was used to showcase the number of fire tenders and other fire fighting and rescue tools and equipment in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.