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Ghana records fire outbreak increase in first half of 2023

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National Fire Service (GNFS) responded to 3,819 fire outbreaks from January 1 to July 31 this year as compared to 3,678 recorded around the same period in 2022.

This shows an approximately 3.8 per cent increase in fire outbreaks in the country.

The Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Mr Julius Kuunour said despite the slight increase, the service through intensive fire education campaigns was hoping to reduce the incidence of fire to zero by December.

He made this known at the launch of the 2023 Fire Safety Week in connection with the 60th Anniversary in Accra, on the theme; ‘60 Years of Existence: Fire Safety, the Choice for a Safer Environment’.

The week serves as a reminder of the critical role the Service plays in preventing and mitigating the effects of fire on the citizenry and the environment.

In January, Ghana recorded 827 fires, February 728, March 622, April 506, May 428, June 337, and July 371.

Out of the total 3,819 fire outbreaks recorded in the period under review, 1,478 were domestic fires followed by commercial fires 636, bush fires 559, electrical fires 455, vehicular fires 363, refuse dump fires 168, institutional fires146, and industrial fires 14.

Mr Kuunour said it was, thus, important for everyone to play his or her role in preventing fires and protecting lives, especially during the period of the celebrations.

“I urge you all to prioritise fire safety in your daily lives by adhering to the basic fire safety tips being churned out by the Service,” he said.

“Some of the safety tips are ensuring the safe use of cylinders and cooking apparatuses, having free escape routes and installing smoke detectors and alarms.”

The Fire Safety Week emphasised the significance of taking preventive measures to reduce their occurrences, he said.

The GNFS focused on educating communities about fire hazards, promoting responsible behaviours and implementing effective fire safety measures in homes, workplaces, and public spaces.

Mr Kuunour advised the public to conduct regular fire drills, ensure the proper maintenance of fire safety equipment, and educate their families, friends and colleagues on fire prevention measures.

He encouraged all to actively participate in the activities and workshops to be held throughout the week, and work hand in hand towards a safer and more resilient Ghana.

Activities outlined include media engagement, quizzes, meeting with district assembly and market leaders, an inspection of national installations, and a mini-conference.

The rest are simulation exercises, market education, meeting with operators of event centers, clubhouses, drinking spots, night clubs and fire safety education in churches across all regions.

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