The Second Lady, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur yesterday launched the “Home Fire Safety Campaign,” a national initiative that seeks to prevent domestic fires by undertaking fire audit and enhancing safety measures in households.
The initiative, being spearheaded by the Ghana National Fire Service, in collaboration with other institutions, is to help households to meet the required fire safety standards.
Domestic fire outbreaks have been on the ascendency, resulting deaths, displacement of people and destruction of property, culminating in a negative effect on the economy.
Statistics from the GNFA indicated that from 2011 to 2015, out of the 24,500 fires outbreaks in the country, 10,051 constituted domestic fires, representing 41.02 per cent of the total fire outbreaks recorded.
As part of the nationwide campaign, which has the theme, “Home Fire safety: a shared responsibility,” fire teams and volunteers would engage households and communities to best fire prevention and management practices.
Launching the campaign in Accra, Mrs Amissah-Arthur bemoaned the devastation caused by preventable fire outbreaks, and called on Ghanaians to observe safety measures.
“Domestic fires do not only destabilise the family, but puts women, children and the aged who are the most vulnerable, at risk,” she said.
She was optimistic that the initiative would help the public to gain the necessary knowledge to avoid home fires, its associated deaths and the loss of property.
“When fires occur, they leave in their wake poverty to families, and therefore, measures must be put in place to ensure that preventable home fires are nibbed in the bud to avoid unnecessary loss,” she added.
Dr Albert Brown Gaisie, Chief Fire Officer, for his part, noted that negligence, carelessness and ignorance have been major causes of domestic fires, saying the campaign would help to address those challenges.
He said the campaign would be piloted in Greater Accra Region after which it would be rolled out in the remaining regions.
He indicated that the service would engage National Service personnel, train and equip them to visit homes under the guidance of fire officers and conduct safety audits. The report from their visits and audits would enable the Service categorise homes into risk levels of high, medium and low for the issuance of the “home fire certificates”.
Dr Gaisie, therefore, called on the public, philanthropists and other private organisations to help to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
Ms Adelaide Annor-Kumi, Chief Director of the Ministry of the Interior, said it was her hope that the concept would be embraced by Ghanaians and made sustainable.
She assured the Service of the Ministry’s support towards the effective implementation of the campaign.
As part of the launch, 10 pick-up vehicles and 12 motor cycles were outdoored for the campaign.
By Ernestina Boateng and Antoinette Deku