Prioritise public safety when awarding permits – Fire Service to stakeholders

Mrs Heroine Boakye (in helmet), speaking to the media

Mrs Heroine Boakye (in helmet), speaking to the media

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has called on stakeholders to prioritise public safety when awarding permits for the establishment of structures in order to prevent huge losses from fire outbreak.

The Upper East Regional Fire Officer, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mrs Heroine Boakye, expressed worry that most of the buildings in the region did not meet the standards of fire safety regulations and accessibility by fire fighters whenever there was an eventuality.

She called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, the Environmental Protection Agency, among other stakeholders, to always consult and listen to the advice of the GNFS to ensure that structures met the requirements of fire regulations.

Mrs Boakye gave the advice during a simulation exercise organised by the GNFS in Bolgatanga on Saturday to prepare firemen in readiness to handle any eventuality.

The exercise, which took place in the Bolgatanga Central Market and brought together other security agencies, including the Ghana Police Service, was  meant to  sensitise the traders and members of the public to fire safety measures and how they could contribute to prevent its occurrence.

She explained that the huge losses normally recorded during fire outbreaks were largely as a result of difficulty in accessing the scenes to fight the fire due to congestion and lack of proper entry and exit points.

Citing Bolgatanga market as an example, she lamented how structures were built without showing regard for fire safety measures, and added that this had made access to certain places very tedious and could even lead to further accidents and destruction of properties.

The Regional Commander warned that shops without fire safety documentations from the GNFS would be identified and dealt with appropriately, and called on the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly to decongest the market, so as to make accessibility to the market very easy.

The Bolgatanga Branch Manager of Melcom, Samuel Kundo, expressed gratitude to the GNFS for the enlightenment and said his outfit would endeavour to comply with the directives to ensure the safety of their customers.

He said the programme had equipped the staff with the necessary knowledge and understanding on fire outbreak and related issues, and how to use the fire equipment to help put off fire should it occur.

From Samuel Akapule, Bolgatanga


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