Business News of Saturday, 29 December 2012
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mr Kwesi Ankonam Quayson has stressed the need for insurance firms to formulate policies that would help tackle the problem of domestic fires in the country.
He said the highest category of fire outbreaks recorded in the country over the past five years, was domestic fire and that it was therefore imperative to educate the public on the need to take fire safety measures seriously to help address the situation.
Mr Quayson, who is in-charge of Research, Development and Monitoring made the call on Friday at an end of year get-together for the Central Region Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) personnel in Cape Coast.
The get-together, also attended by personnel from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Police Service (GPS) Prisons Service and the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) were treated to highlife music provided by the Fire Angels band.
The Deputy Fire Officer also called on building inspectors in the various district assemblies to be proactive and intensify their supervision and monitoring roles to ensure that people use the appropriate materials in their homes to reduce the high number of domestic fires.
He tasked insurance firms to supplement the efforts of the GNFS by providing funds for the Service to use in educating the public on fire safety and that they should also encourage many people to undertake fire policies to protect their properties and lives.
Mr Quayson expressed concerned about the fact that domestic fires were still a major problem for the Service and that in the Central Region for instance there had been an increase in domestic fires over the years, adding that in 2008, 318 fire cases were recorded in the Region out which 57 were domestic with one institutional.
He said in 2009, a total of 282 cases were recorded of which 86 were domestic with four institutional fires and that for 2011 a total of 273 cases were recorded with 73 domestic cases with no institutional fire. In 2012 the region experienced 385 fires of which 115 were domestic with only two institutional.
Mr Quayson told the personnel that the government was doing everything possible to make their lives comfortable and urged them to reciprocate the gesture by becoming disciplined fire fighters.
The Regional Commander, Assistant Chief Fire officer (ACFO), Mr John Amponsah Tetteh commended the personnel for their hard work and commitment in the past year and urged them to remain disciplined and committed to their duties in the coming year.
He said although the Service faced a number of challenges last year including finances, it managed to perform its duties satisfactorily and thanked the personnel for the sacrifices and good work.
Mr William Brown Aquaye former Chief Fire Officer, who presided, said fire safety was a shared responsibility and urged the personnel to engage all stakeholders such as churches, chiefs, opinion leaders and communities in fire fighting education.
He also advised them to make sure they took very good care of the equipment provided for fire fighting to help sustain the Service.