Harmattan Fire risk ahead for Ghana - GNFS

The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Mr Prince Billy Anaglate said the harmattan which was gradually becoming severe had made the weather become fertile ground for fire outbreaks.

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As the country enters the harmattan season, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has cautioned the general public to adhere strictly to basic fire safety measures to help reduce the occurrence of fire outbreaks during this dry period.

Several parts of the country started experiencing a change in the weather condition on Tuesday with some breathing difficulties.

The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Mr Prince Billy Anaglate said the harmattan which was gradually becoming severe had made the weather become fertile ground for fire outbreaks.

READ ALSO: Ghana loses GHC86 million to fires between January and September

According to him, during this dry period, fire outbreaks are usually reported and hence the public must exercise caution.

“Between  December 24 and December 26,  2016, as many as 48 fire outbreaks have been recorded nationwide, while around the same time in 2015, 72 fire outbreaks were recorded nationwide,” he told the Daily Graphic.

He said the GNFS has already intensified its fire safety education and management interventions to reduce the prevalence of fire outbreaks during this period.

“What we have done so far is to train a lot of volunteers in those communities that we do not have fire stations and we train them also to serve as educators in the communities.

“We have also trained them to ensure that they monitor the activities of palm wine tappers and farmers because we know at this period many people try to use fires to clear their lands, which has contributed to many fire outbreaks,” he said.

READ ALSO: Three more die from Labadi gas explosion incident

The trained officers would patrol selected areas, including markets, to provide intense fire safety education and check the indiscriminate setting up of fires, he said.

Mr Anaglate further urged members of the public to take stock of all their electrical appliances and be careful with the way they handled naked fires.

“We should ensure that all gas cylinders in enclosed areas such as rooms and kitchens are relocated to open spaces,” he said.

He advised that “When leaving the home, people should ensure that all electrical equipment, except fridges, are switched off and unplugged, close all doors and windows tight, avoid the use of charcoal for cooking and for heating in the market, do not accumulate sawdust in the timber market as this is a potential source of fire outbreak, improper electrical connection must be avoided and proper use of candles must be adhered to by placing the candle in a ceramic bowl or an enamel bowl.”

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