The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) recorded 1,919 fire outbreaks nationwide in the first quarter of this year as against 2,151 within the same period the previous year.
The recorded cases which showed a reduction of 6.14 percent in reported cases resulted in four deaths and nine injuries.
Some of the recorded cases were attributed to domestic, industrial, vehicular, electrical, commercial and bush fires.
The Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Divisional Officer Grade II (DO II) Ellis Okoe Robinson disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday and said 17 fire outbreaks were reported during the Easter festivities.
He said that cost of damages was estimated at GH¢6,825,508.00.
DO II Robinson said Ashanti region recorded the highest cases of 427, followed by the Greater Accra region.
He said as part of efforts to reduce the canker in the country, the GNFS would continue with its sensitisation programmes to educate the public on best practices.
He said the Fire Service would continue to also collaborate with stakeholders such as the Ghana Water Company, Power Distribution Service and the Municipal Assemblies to help curb fire outbreaks.
DO II Robinson said personnel without accommodation was problem, stating that during emergencies it becomes difficult for the mobilisation of personnel since they were staying apart.
The PRO stated that plans were far advanced to cut sod for the construction of a burns centre for personnel at Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
DO II Robinson expressed worry over the lack of accessibility to markets during emergencies.
“Most of the entrances have been occupied by traders who sell their wares, making it difficult for their vehicles to enter the market during fire outbreaks,” he added.
He urged market leaders to create accessibility at the market to ensure free flow of the vehicles during emergencies.
The PRO urged the public to make fire safety a priority at all times, adding that the emergency number is 192.
“Segregate items at the markets to prevent the spread of fire and also abide by the basic rules at public places,” he added.
DO II Robinson advised the public to desist from making prank calls, adding that out of 300,000 calls made to the GNFS within 10 days, 279,000 were prank calls.
The PRO said misusing an emergency line was criminal and affects the operation of the Service, adding that the GNFS was collaborating with the National Security to track such calls and deal with such perpetuators in accordance with the law.
He urged the public to collaborate with the Fire Service to prevent fire outbreaks in the country.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI