The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has directed all Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stations to halt operations in the course of discharging gas on their premises.
The move is part of measures instituted by the GNFS to ensure that operators of LPG stations observe the needed safety precautions for fire-free operations to protect lives and properties in the country.
It followed a recent gas explosion and fire outbreak at the Louis Gas Station at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra which led to several loss of lives and destroyed properties running into several thousands of cedis.
Speaking at a sensitisation programme for LPG operators in the Greater Accra Region, the Director of Fire Safety, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) William Yawson, stressed “in the course of discharging gas at your stations, put on display, ‘Discharging in progress, no entry’ sign to prevent fire risk to customers.”
He said it was necessary for operators to have fire extinguishers on stand-by, closely monitor their immediate surrounding for possible source of ignition and notify the fire stations in their respective areas before discharge of gas is undertaken.
“Check to know if all first aid appliances are in order including smoke arresters and allow time for your product to settle for sometime before taking delivery,” DCFO Yawson urged.
Touching on how to handle gas cylinders while serving customers, the Director of Public Safety entreated operators to ensure that the floors on which cylinders are positioned were insulated to prevent a possible spark.
He further implored operators to “regularly change rubber seals of gas cylinders of customers and ensure that they stand at a safer distance from the point of service.”
DCFO Yawson cautioned that the GNFS would not hesitate to close down LPG stations that fail to strictly observe fire management plans adding that, “we will enforce the legislative instrument which states that the Chief Fire Officer may prohibit or restrict the use of premises if the fire risk to persons on the premises is high until the necessary steps have been taken to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.”
Mr. Tizard Ansah, an executive member of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) pledged his outfit’s commitment to comply with recommendations and guidelines of the GNFS to safeguard lives and properties.
“To drive full compliance with our safety requirements, we have created two committees dedicated to our operations and safety assurance to improve standards at LPG stations,” he stated.
By Abigail Annoh