A fire safety officer of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Assistant Fire Safety Officer, Mr Charles Kingsley Amoh, has called on people to be extra-cautious of how they handle fire with the approach of the Yuletide festivities.
He said most fire disasters, especially in households, were recorded around this time of the year, so there was the need for people to be cautious as they prepared for the celebrations.
Mr Amoh made the call at a firefighting and first aid awareness programme in Accra organised by REISS and Co. (Ghana), a multi-divisional technical trading house, which deals in agriculture, veterinary, pharmaceuticals, computers, and security equipment and mechanical.
He said from most of its investigations, the GNFS had discovered that many of the fire outbreaks that caused major havoc in the run-up to the Christmas festivities were man-made.
He, therefore, called on people to ensure that they acquired basic education in both the prevention and the fighting of fires, especially at the domestic level.
He said the GNFS had launched an awareness campaign aimed at educating the masses on fire prevention due to the rampant occurrence of fire disasters across the country.
Mr Amoh especially called on women to ensure that they wrapped their hair whenever they were in the kitchen to ensure that it did not catch fire as they performed their normal domestic chaos.
He called on people to ensure that their gas cylinders were always in good shape to prevent explosion. He advised the public not to fill their gas cylinders to the brim as that was another cause of explosion.
He called on the companies to ensure that they performed fire simulation exercises once in a while in conjunction with the GNFS so as to assess the level of conciousness of their staff.
He added that it was ideal companies had fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire panels among other basic tools used in detecting or fighting fires.
Outlining the purpose for the fire safety awareness for the staff, the Managing Director of REISS and Co., Mr Peter Van Der Wurff, said it was to complement the work of the GNFS.
He said if buildings were fitted with all the required fire safety equipment, there was the need to train the people in it to be able to operate such equipment when the need arose.
The staff were, at the end of the awareness education programme, taken through a firefighting exercise. Some of the staff who had been trained as fire volunteers were presented with certificates.