The fire outbreak at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra came as a surprise to many Ghanaians. When such incidents occur we begin to think about possible loss of lives. In this particular incident no lives were lost. However, part of the edifice was consumed by fire.

Much as The Ghanaian Times shares in the pain of loss of some property, we are happy that management of the hotel has announced the immediate opening of business to the public.

We are also happy that when the unfortunate incident occurred the occupants of the hotel were immediately evacuated to the Sakumono branch of the same hotel, showing the thoughtfulness and also the managerial skills of the hoteliers.

Our main concern is the controversy generated by claims of the late arrival of the fire service. The fire service personnel on their part have explained that they worked hard to bring the situation under control.

This is not the time for any blame game. What is important is for investigations to be carried out for the truth to come out as pointed out by the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery.

One great lesson learnt here is that as much as possible we need to avoid fire outbreaks whether at home, in our offices, at market places or in business areas. The danger with fire outbreaks is that precious lives can be lost within seconds while property worked for over the years can also be consumed and destroyed within the twinkle of an eye.

We need to be extra careful at all times to avoid such fire outbreaks in the country since apart from deaths and destruction of property they can lead to loss of investments, unemployment and economic slowdown.

Not long ago, we pointed out in an editorial that one observable phenomenon in the country was the non-adherence to safety rules and that so serious was the issue that it had led to the death of numerous people in the country. We also explained that simple rules of safety ought to be adhered to at all times.

Needless to say, keeping to rules of safety as if there will be fire outbreak the next moment is what we need to remind ourselves of for any possible outbreak at any time. This is what is likely to prevent us from being overtaken by surprise.

Fire incidents have become a regular occurrence with thousands of lives and millions of cedis lost every year in this country.. Hardly a day passes without news of a fire outbreak in some part of Ghana, causing fear and panic among the people.

This generates much discussion, rumours and debate, relating to politics, sabotage, misfortune, carelessness, etc.

It is becoming clear that in general the rate of fire incidence increases each year. This increase is generally attributed to several factors: business growth, rate of population growth and industrialisation, unstable electricity, urbanisation, negligence or carelessness, illegal electrical connection, etc.

The causes of these fires are numerous. These can be categorised into domestic, industrial and vehicular. Others are institutional, electrical, business/commercial, bush, etc. Data available from the Ghana National Fire Service shows that among these causes, domestic fire accounts for 41 per cent of the total number of fire incidents in the country.

The Ghanaian Times is very much concerned about these unfortunate developments. We think that the time has come for us to prevent or deal with avoidable fire outbreaks in the country.


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