GNPC Foundation, a subsidiary of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has embarked on a safety campaign to create awareness of fire disasters at market places.
The campaign is also to rid markets and public places in the Western Region of risky activities that may lead to fire outbreaks.
Additionally, the fire safety campaign seeks to educate traders at the various markets on the use of approved wiring, how to detect defective gas cylinders, precautions needed in the use of fire inside the market, the need for fire extinguishers and basic fire-fighting approaches.
GNPC Foundation also refilled and donated 30 fire extinguishers to the managers of the markets and fire officers.
To ensure an effective campaign, officials of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the Power Distribution Service (PDS), the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and managers of the market, all joined the GNPC to educate traders and members of the public at the Takoradi Central Market.
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The Executive Director of GNPC Foundation, Dr Dominic K. Eduah, said in all the foundation’s activities, including its upstream operations, safety remained key and non-negotiable.
He however, obseved that several infractions were going on in the market that required that traders and patrons were educated on how to protect their lives, investments and properties.
“The truth remains that we cannot insulate ourselves from issues that border on our own safety and that of our investments, hence the need to take necessary actions to protect each other,” he said.
The Deputy Western Regional Fire Officer, Divisional Officer-1 (DO1), Ms Veronica Naa Adjele Konney, urged managers of markets to ensure that all fire extinguishers in the markets were working while scheduled servicing dates were adhered to.
An official of the PDS, Mr James Obeng Jnr., also advised people to employ the services of professionals to fix their electrical gadgets.
“The fact remains that trained certified electricians have more knowledge about wiring and cross-checking after wiring processes to ensure safety. Do not forget every gadget has voltage levels, which must be respected,” he added.
Mr Obeng Jnr. attributed the frequent fire outbreaks in the markets and homes to the use of cheap and substandard cables, coupled with the engagement of non-professionals .
The traders assured the team from the GNPC Foundation, the GNFS and the PDS of their resolve to watch and report any infractions to officers at the Market Circle Fire Station.
A tour of the Takoradi Central Market revealed that the structure of the market was generally weak, while some combustible materials were also spotted.
And while some of the traders had lit fire to keep their smoked fish fresh, others were also seen using LPG gas stoves and coal pots to cook in the markets.