The Chief Fire Officer, Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie, has expressed concern about the recklessness and awful disregard for fire safety by many Ghanaians.
He called for change, saying, people must be responsive to safety education and heed warnings by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
That, he noted, was important to significantly reduce the incidence of fire outbreaks, especially at the markets.
Dr. Gaise was speaking after inspecting parts of the Kumasi Central Market destroyed by huge fire, on last week Wednesday’s night.
Merchandize including cosmetics, paint, plastics and turpentine as well as large quantity of food stuff, running into millions of cedis were ravaged and firefighters backed by about 10 fire engines battled for hours to control the blaze.
The Chief Fire Officer pointed out that, four days before the incident, personnel from the Regional Fire Office had visited the market to educate and provide the traders with safety tips.
This activity has been going on as part of stepped up effort to sensitize the people to become alert and avoid practices that could ignite uncontrolled fires, particularly, during the harmattan season.
Dr. Gaisie’s other worry was with the poor accessibility to the market, which he said made it difficult to tackle any fire outbreak there.
He observed that if the incident had occurred in the daytime, when trading activities were at the peak, evacuation of people would have presented a real challenge.
He therefore called for steps to be taken to decongest the place to ensure human safety.
The Chief Fire Officer announced the conduct of fire safety audit on all major markets across the country and said the GNFS reports had been presented to the relevant authorities for action.
He entreated market women to put priority on personal safety and work collectively to protect not only lives but their investments.
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