Fire outbreaks: Central Region incidents reduce, Northern registers increase
According to the Central Region office of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), intensified education in 2022 resulted in a reduction in fire incidents by 56.
The region recorded 570 fire incidents in 2022, which was lower than the 2021 figure, which was 626, according to the GNFS.
Domestic fires topped the list, with 195 cases, which was 29 less than the 224 incidents recorded in 2021.
The region had 114 bush fires in 2022, which was also lower than the 2021 figure of 122.
Vehicular fires were 62 in 2022; a decrease of 15 from the 77 incidents recorded in 2021, while electrical fires saw a marginal increase from 47 in 2021 to 49 in 2022.
There were 90 commercial fire incidents in 2022 and 99 in 2021, industrial fires were nine in 2022 and six in 2021, refuse fires were seven in 2022 and 24 in 2021, while other fires were nine in 2022 and six in 2021.
Institutional fires, however, saw an increase from 21 in 2021 to 35 in 2022.
Explaining the decrease in fire incidents in the region, the Central Regional Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Division Officer III, Abdul Wasiu Hudu, said the service increased fire safety activities in the region, especially after the launch of the Fire Safety Week in early 2022.
“We embarked on house to house education and shop to shop visits in all the districts, he stated.
He said some media houses also assisted with regular airtime to reach the masses with the ‘gospel’ of fire safety.
DO III Hudu said the GNFS would commit more efforts this year towards further reducing the fire incidents this year.
“We intend to expand our coverage by reaching more media houses for regular fire safety education. We will also intensify fire safety education at public places, especially lorry parks, to help target vehicular fires,” he stated.
“We intend to arrest one of the culprits of bushfires and make him or her a scapegoat,” he stated and urged the public to support efforts by the GNFS by adopting safety measures in their homes and work places.
On the other hand, the Northern Region recorded an increase in fire incidents from 332 in 2021 to 370 in 2022, representing about 20 per cent surge.
Also, eight incidents were recorded during the Christmas and New year festivities, as against four cases recorded in the same period in 2021.
The incidents recorded included, domestic, bush, electrical, commercial and accident fires.
The Northern Regional Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Assistant Divisional Officer (ADOII), Baba Hudu, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in Tamale, cited human negligence and apathy in heeding to fire safety advice as the main causes.
He indicated that about 80 per cent of the incidents recorded were caused by human negligence such as indiscriminate bush burning, gas leakages and illegal power connections.
Nonetheless, he said, the regional commander had mapped out strategies to address the menace.
ADOII Hudu said the command had intensified public and institutional education on fire safety through the various media platforms and durbars.
He expressed worry about the increasing incidents of fire outbreaks in the region and appealed to the residents to take safety precautions to prevent fire outbreaks.
"Fire safety is a shared responsibility we all need to come on board to accept and implement the safety tips being released by Ghana National Fire Service into practice. Also, let us be mindful of whatever we use fire for," he urged.
He also advised the general public to ensure that they put off all electrical appliances before leaving their various homes and work places, while urging that those cooking in the market area should properly extinguish fire before they left.