The Greater Regional Minister, Mr. Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo has charged fire officers to intensify education on fire precautionary measures in the region to help reduce fire outbreaks.
He said there was the need to shape the attitude of the public against activities that cause fires through a comprehensive education initiative for households and offices.
“Government is very concerned about the negative effects of fires, especially in our market, and other institutions such as the central medical stores and therefore require fire officers to double their efforts in educating the public to avoid behaviours that bring about fires,” he said.
Nii Agbo said this in Accra yesterday at the launch of the Greater Accra regional fire safety week, which is on the theme “Attitudinal change- key to fire safety”.
Activities scheduled for the celebrations include sensitisation sessions for markets and schools, quiz competitions and public fora at some suburbs of the region.
He expressed concern about the loss of lives and property during fires and urged the public to be cautious in the handling of fire related issues adding “most fire outbreaks were caused by public negligence and lack of adherence to fire safety precautions”.
While commending the fire service for their quick response to emergencies, Nii Agbo said more emphasis should be placed on precautionary measures rather than response to outbreaks.
He, therefore, urged the service to be more proactive, especially in the education of the public which was also a responsibility of the Ghana National Fire Service aimed at attitudinal change towards fire outbreak.
Nii Abgo again called on the public and corporate institutions to complement the efforts of government in equipping the fire service with advanced firefighting equipment.
He said government has, over the years invested hugely in building the capacity of the service through the provision of fire tenders and other firefighting equipment but more needed to be done to ensure that the service lacked nothing in its operations.
“I would also call on stakeholders including the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company Limited and civil society organisations to collaborate with the Fire Service to reduce the rate of outbreaks in the country,” he said.
The Regional Fire Officer of the service, Mr. Nana Brenya said the region has recorded a total of 759 fire cases as at August of this year with 79 per cent being domestic, commercial and electrical fires.
He observed that most of the facilities were gutted by the fires due to poor attitude of the public towards fire related matters.
“We should learn how to protect ourselves, family members, friends and society from hazards of fire. We need to be reminded to be responsible, to think and to make time for fire safety measures to reduce fires in the country,” he said.
By Charles Amankwa and Emelia Enyonam Kuleke