By Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Bolgatanga, Feb. 9, GNA – The Ghana National Fires Service (GNFS) has called on stakeholders to prioritize public safety when awarding permits for the establishment of structures in order to prevent huge losses whenever there was fire outbreak.
Mrs Heroine Boakye, the Upper East Regional Fire Officer expressed worry that most of the buildings in the region did not meet the standards of fire safety regulations and did not allow easy accessibility to fire scenes 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 advises of the GNFS to ensure that developers met the requirements of fire regulations.
The Regional Fire Commander gave the admonishment during a simulation exercise organized by the GNFS in Bolgatanga, the regional capital to prepare firemen in readiness to handle eventualities.
The exercise, which took place at the Bolgatanga Central Market and brought together other security agencies including the Ghana Police Service, was to further sensitize the traders and members of the public on fire safety measures and how they could contribute to prevent its occurrence.
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer explained that the huge losses normally recorded during fire outbreaks was largely as result of the fact that fire personnel always found it difficult to get access to the scenes to fight the fire due to congestion and lack of proper entry and exit points.
Citing the Bolgatanga market as an example, she lamented how structures were built with disregard for fire safety measures and added that this has made access to certain places very tedious and could even lead to further accidents and destruction of properties.
The Regional Commander warned that owners of shops which do not meet the requirement to operate in the market or do not have the correct fire safety documents from the GNFS would be identified and dealt with appropriately.
She called on the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly to decongest the market to make accessibility to the market very easy.
She reiterated her outfit’s commitment to intensify their educational drive across the region in order to prevent outbreaks, and called on the media especially the radio stations to use their medium to sensitize members of the public on fire safety measures and how to prevent fire outbreaks.
Mr Samuel Kundo, the Bolgatanga Branch Manager of Melcom, 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 will enable their staff to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and understanding on fire outbreak and its related issues and how to use the fire equipment to help put off fire should it occur.