At least 5,033 fire outbreaks were recorded nationwide from January to October this year by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) as against 4,623 within the same 10-month period last year, which shows an 8 per cent rise.
Out of the cases recorded, domestic fires were 1,758, industrial 99, vehicular 483, institutional 126, electrical 460, commercial 682, bush fires 1,199 and others 226.
The damage the fire caused to properties was estimated at GH¢28,421,058.18.
The Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Divisional Officer Grade One (DOI) Ellis Okoe Robinson, disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, adding that 23 people died and 31 suffered injuries as a result of fire outbreaks.
He said Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of cases of 990 and North East Region recorded the lowest of 22.
DOI Robinson said as efforts to reduce the fire canker in the country, the Service would intensify its education to the public to ensure they abided by the best practices.
He said the GNFS would sustain collaboration with key stakeholders in the discharge of their duties.
He mentioned some of the challenges of the Service as accessibility into markets during fire outbreaks, stating that kiosks, shops and other structures had been mounted at the entrances, making it difficult to have access to structures during emergencies.
The PRO said 175 acres of land were destroyed by bush fires across the country and urged farmers to construct farm belts when burning their bushes.
“Hunters and palm wine tappers should endeavour to put off their naked fires after use,” he added.
DOI Robinson appealed to Government to provide them with more logistics, adding that the Service currently had only 200 fire tenders countrywide with a good number of them having broken down.
DOI Robinson said the public must endeavour to make fire safety their priority at all times.
The Fire PRO urged stakeholders, especially Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, to collaborate with the GNFS when constructing markets.
“Market authorities should also engage the services of fire wardens for their markets,” he added.
He appealed to the media to partner the Service in its educational drive.
The PRO urged the public not to overload their sockets; and endeavour to put off and pull out plugs from sockets when leaving their offices and homes.
He said the public should call 192 emergency line when there was fire outbreak.
BY ANITA NYARKOYIRENKYI