Fire Service inaugurates safety precautions task force
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has inaugurated a 17-member fire safety task force with the mandate to ensure compliance with fire safety precautions in all facilities.
The team will carry out visits to facilities to inspect fire certificates, educate people on the procedure of acquiring fire certificates, assess fire safety cover and identify service providers who are mandated to deal in fire safety products.
The team is clothed with the power to initiate legal action against recalcitrant individuals and organisations that fail to comply with the fire safety precautions.
The task force, which is on a pilot basis, will be replicated in the regions to enrol more personnel to expand the task force and maximise its objectives.
During the inauguration at the GNFS Headquarters in Accra last Wednesday, the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Julius Kuunuor, urged the members to put in all efforts to ensure the formation of the task force became a success, particularly on public education, creation of fire safety awareness and generation of revenue for the state and the service.
He further urged them to exhibit the needed skills acquired through their training and live up to expectation.
“Be vigilant and attentive in your work since the safety of lives and property lay heavily on your shoulders,” CFO Kuunuor added.
He further emphasised that in recent times, there had been a great shift in the focus of the service especially with the promulgation of Act 537 in 1997 and the passage of the Fire Precautions Regulations, LI 1724 in 2003 and LI 2249 in 2016.
Due to that, he said, the service now spent much of its time and scarce resources on fire precaution and fire prevention programmes by aggressively embarking on house to house, as well as radio and television education, especially at the community level.
In a bid to ensure a sustained fire safety education, he said the service had established a fire television station at the GNFS Headquarters.
With intensive fire safety education, the CFO said the public would become more aware of the very important roles they needed to play in achieving a fire free nation to support the developmental agenda of the country.
From the fire statistics recorded for 2022 and 2023, he said it was gratifying that the hard work was paying off, as there was a marginal reduction in fire outbreak figures throughout the country.
Giving the statistics, CFO Kuunuor said there was a decrease in fire outbreaks by 282, representing 5.9 per cent in 2023 as against the same period in 2022.
He said it was time for the service to take the execution of the mandate conferred on it to the next level by insisting on the participation of individuals in fire prevention in order to ensure lives and property were preserved.
Abide by directives
The Director of Safety, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO), Daniella Mawusi Ntow Sarpong, urged the members of the task force to acquaint themselves with the design of premises and its related hazards and educate the occupancies and owners on the need to acquire fire certificate.
She advised them to abide and strictly follow the directives by the directorate to avoid confrontation with the public.
She said the need for close monitoring, supervision, inspection and compliance-driven activities were very essential, especially in this era of heightened productivity, growth and industrialisation.
DCFO Sarpong said that would complement the efforts of the fire safety directorate to ensure successful implementation of national policies aimed at protecting lives, properties and investments.
She said fire safety was a shared responsibility and, therefore, expressed the hope that the public would cooperate and embrace the yet-to-be inaugurated task force in the performance of their duties.
“This collaboration will energise the task force to work effectively to ensure the best fire safety practices in all walks of life and also guarantee the safety of the country,” she added.