Accra, Dec. 25, GNA – The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has called on Ghanaians to be wary of activities that could cause fire outbreaks as there has been increase in fires in the country this year.
It said statistics of fire outbreaks from January to December 21, 2020 stood at 5,966 representing 4.9 as compared to 5,673 within the same period in 2019.
Mr Edwin Ekow Blankson, the Chief Fire Officer, made the call in a Christmas and New Year Message to Ghanaians.
He said the increase in fire outbreaks was as a result of many domestic activities by the people during the lockdown period in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that; “This clearly points to the fact that, adherence to fire safety is not being treated with the kind of urgency and attention it deserves.”
Mr Blankson said the last quarter of the year 2020 had been a great test and a challenge for the Service as they had to grapple with the numerous fire outbreaks in some major markets and other areas with all resources available.
« It is gratifying to note however that we have so far been able to weather the storm and brought some relief to the many people who were affected, » he said.
« It is my wish that all the fire safety tips put out there are accorded the needed attention to help prevent undesired fires, but if it should occur, don’t hesitate to call our emergency number, 112 since we have rolled out a nationwide programme; Operation Red Alert which will see additional men on standby 24/7, » he stated.
Mr Blankson said: « We can only respond to a distress call before proceeding to a fire scene, we should therefore endeavor to call the GNFS immediately we suspect or detect fire and not when we try our hands and are not successful, » it stated.
The Chief Fire Officer commended all fire personnel for their high professionalism exhibited during the year 2020, saying; “It is my wish that you continue with the rolled out programme for the yuletide, which includes fire education at the market, lorry parks and other public places, as well as see this as an opportunity to rebrand the Service to boost its image”.
Mr Blankson urged all personnel to be very disciplined and live above reproach. « We should maintain a high level of professionalism, integrity and be a positive influence to the communities in which we live during the festive season and beyond. »
« It should be the ultimate responsibility of every Fire Officer to ensure that the Yuletide and the New Year are celebrated with zero-occurrence of fire outbreaks; and where they occur our reaction should be prompt and professional, » he said.
He called on the public to be patient with them saying, « 90 per cent of firefighting is done with water and therefore it is not possible that we would go to a fire scene without water.”