The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to allot a place for cooking in various markets when putting up such structures across the country.
This, according to the GNFS, would help minimise fire outbreaks resulting from open fires due to cooking activities in the markets.
Mr Ellis Robinson Okoe, Head of Public Relations at the GNFS, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday.
He said, not only would a designated place prevent food vendors and market women from cooking in their shops, but it would also serve as a check on dousing the fires should one leave it unattended.
“The appropriate thing is for the authorities to have a designated place for cooking in the market, because you cannot stop food vendors from cooking at the markets, so there is the need to find one place where all of them would cook, so that if someone forgets to put the fire off, others can easily detect and quench it,” he said.
Mr Okoe charged the MMDAs to be up and doing with regards to fire safety in the various markets.
He expressed worry about illegal connection and the use of sub- standard wires at the various markets, saying “there are so many inferior electrical equipments and sub standard wires which are prone to fire outbreaks”.
He suggested that the GNFS should be consulted when markets are being constructed in order for the Service to put in the basic fire safety needs.
“We have observed that a lot of the markets are built without consulting us, but if we are consulted during the construction of the markets, even at the drawing stage, we can advise on how certain basic safety facilities can be factored in the project.
“We can, for example, ensure proper segregation of the markets, so that if one shed is burning, it will not extend to the other,’ he said.
Mr Okoe, however, urged the general public to take precaution against fire outbreaks by adhering to basic fire safety tips.
By AGNES Opoku Sarpong