The Tema Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), on Monday, embarked on a fire safety educational campaign at the Tema Community One market, to assess areas at risk of possible fire outbreak and the level of compliance of the people with safety rules.
A team of personnel led by the Tema Regional Commander, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO), William Yawson, went round the entire market and inspected the activities of all shop owners including individuals, hair dressers, millers, palm oil sellers, butchers, restaurant operators, tailors and seamstresses.
The inspection targeted those whose activities involved extensive use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and electric press irons which could easily spark fire at the least negligence.
In an effort to reach all the people in the market with the message, a Public Address (PA) system van was also deployed around the market while two officials of the service were hosted on Aseda Information Centre, a community radio system within the market.
ACFO Yawson observed at the end of the tour that majority of the people complied with adequate safety precautions and an improved electrical wiring in the market while a few recalcitrant ones remained negligent with some of the shops without fire extinguishers.
In an interaction with them, he admonished the market women to adhere to the many fire safety educational campaigns being undertaken by the Service to keep the market free from fire outbreak and its effects.
He urged them to desist from blatant disregard for fire safety rules, improper and careless usage of LPG, overloading of electrical sockets beyond their capacities, improper handling of flammable liquids and other combustible materials among others.
He said although the GNFS was ready to respond swiftly to any fire outbreak, the core mandate of the service was to help prevent fire outbreak but not to fight it hence the deepening and intensification of the safety campaign.
He indicated that there would be a continues routine inspection to check electrical connections at the markets, industries, offices as well as individuals and corporate attitude towards fire safety to forestall the outbreak of fires and their associated devastation.
The Chief Fire Warden of the market, Mr. Phillip Kwasi Kyei, for his part, said there had been a continues and daily surveillance system in the market during which those found flouting basic fire rules were reminded of the need to help prevent fire outbreak.
From Ken Afedzi,Tema.