Fire Service forensic lab nears completion

BY: News Desk Report
Dr Justice Ofori, Commissioner of Insurance, speaking at the presentation ceremony
Dr Justice Ofori, Commissioner of Insurance, speaking at the presentation ceremony

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has presented a cheque for GH¢250,000 to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to enable it complete the construction of a three-storey forensic laboratory.

The laboratory facility will assist the service to use scientific methods to determine the origin and causes of fire incidents for public safety.

The latest donation brings to GH¢1,050,000 the support presented by the NIC towards the construction of the laboratory.

The three-storey forensic laboratory under construction

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Justice Ofori, who made the presentation during a tour of the project at the headquarters of the service, said the GNFS needed additional support to expedite the completion of the project following an earlier benevolent gesture of a donation of GH¢300,000 from the commission in July, this year.

Investigative processes

While the establishment of the forensic laboratory would assist the Fire Service in fire investigative processes to establish the causes of fires within a reasonably short period, it would also help insurers price fire risks prudently, Dr Ofori indicated.

The additional support from the commission was in line with the NIC’s projections to have the lab unit completed in time.

Fire insurance claims take relatively long time to administer because fire officers need to be able to tell the causes of fire outbreaks.

The Commissioner of Insurance stated that the lab would naturally make life easier and faster for society as a whole.

He stressed that the mutually beneficial relationship between the NIC and by extension, the insurance industry and the GNFS would be further strengthened and enhanced once the laboratory was completed and put to use.

He also commended the insurance industry for its contributions towards the funding of the project, the first of its kind since the establishment of the service in 1963.

The acting Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Mr Julius Kuunor, who received the cheque, thanked the Commission for the consistent support.

"With this additional support to complete other important phases of the laboratory, we believe that action on the effective use of scientific methods will be expedited in order to swiftly tell the causes of fires, which would otherwise be merely classified as accidental,” he said.

He said the forensic laboratory would be a paradigm shift to ensure scientific method of investigating incidents would become the way to go.