A fire simulation exercise to test the responsiveness of staff was held at the National Lottery Authority (NLA) in Accra yesterday.
It was in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and also meant to observe how staff members could react in times of emergency.
Although the first of its kind, members were caught unawares as artificial smoke was simulated and alarm was sounded by fire officers of the Authority.
The smoke was first created at the second floor of the Fortune House before the customer centre during which the emergency alarm was sounded.
Thereafter, officials of the GNFS rushed to the premises of the NLA in an attempt to put out the fire as though it was a real situation.
In the process, the main entrance and all other exit points of the NLA were locked, preventing members of the public and passers-by to have access to the scene.
Briefing journalists prior to the exercise, the Director-General of NLA Brigadier-General Martin Ahiaglo (retired) said the simulation formed part of their strategy to reduce casualties during fire outbreaks.
He remarked: “Fire is a great danger to life and property at the workplace and hence the need to respond to it prudently”.
Brigadier-General Ahiaglo said the NLA had engaged staff in a series of training so that they can be able to handle fires professionally.
He commended fire officers for their timely response but expressed displeasure at the way some staff rush to the assembly point.
The Director-General advised them to respond swiftly any time the emergency alarm was sounded.
While at the point of assembly, Reuben Botchway, a station officer with the GNFS demonstrated how to handle fire extinguishers.
Using a carbon dioxide extinguisher, he said the levers of the long funnel on top of the extinguisher should be held firmly when quenching fire immediately to prevent escalation.
By Malik Sullemana