April 22, 2024

N/R: One Life Lost, Over 12 Million Cedis Worth of Properties Destroyed to 312 Fire Outbreaks in 2023

The Northern Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) recorded a reduction of 20.20% in fire outbreaks in 2023 from 1st January to 31st December.

A total number of 312 fires was recorded with an estimated cost of damage to properties at GHS 12,195,766 as against 391 fires with a corresponding estimated cost of damage to properties at GHS 7,426,219 for the same period in 2022.

The cost of items salvaged from these fires amounted to GHS 30,907,794.00 for the period under review as against GHS 8,718,786.00 for same period in 2022 showing a difference of GHS 22,189,008.00 representing an increase of 254.50%. This gives credence to a lot more properties saved from fire ruins. An average of 1 fire was recorded in a day during the year in 2023.

One life was lost through fire outbreak however, no life was lost as a result of, flooding, depths and heights rescue. The period recorded 66 injuries whilst 5 lives were unfortunately lost through 9 road traffic collision incidents in 2023 as against 12 lives and 87 injuries through 9 incidents for the same period in 2022.

137 out on arrival cases were recorded in 2023 as against 146 for the same period in 2022 representing 6.2% decrease.  Domestic fires leads by 146, electrical 40, commercial 35 and vehicular 25. The rest are, bush fire 29, institutional 20 and other fires 14. However, 70% prank calls was recorded after the commencement of the Emergency Command center (ECC). 

It is dishearten to note that, the new trend of fire outbreaks that was experienced in 2022 whereby fires succeeded in ravaging uncompleted buildings especially at new settlements continued to gain grounds. Bushfires from the immediate surroundings spread to these roofed but uninhabited or uncompleted buildings and setting them ablaze.

30 of such cases were recorded against 12 in 2022, which indicates an increase of 18 representing 150%. It is the hope of Service that, the public especially, owners of such properties will take steps to properly clear their surroundings and also adhere to all safety precautionary measures to protect their properties from these avoidable fires.

Some of the causes of these fires are electrical faults which stem from circuit overload, arcing, short circuit, inferior cables, compromised or poorly done electrical installations, over-aged wires and earthing problems; Gas leakages, unattended cooking; unattended lit candles; mosquito coils, matches and poorly done hot works from welding, bush burning as well as deliberate acts.

The fires recorded suggest a significant downward trend. It decreased from 391 in 2022 to 312 in 2023 indicating a reducing variance of 79 fire cases. The high number of out on arrival cases of 137 also suggests that the education and sensitization programs of the Service in the region are impacting positively on the general public as they are now able to manage small fires on their own. The positive results can be attributed to the Commands vigorous fire safety education and sensitization campaigns in both the media landscape and all public spaces.

The Northern Regional Command still believes most of the fires recorded in the region are preventable and thus, calls on the general public to make positive changes in their attitudes with regards to the use of naked lights, gas cooking apparatuses, electricity and electrical appliances to forestall the occurrences of all preventable fires. 

The public is hereby advised to avoid pranking the service on its emergency numbers (192 / 112) and direct lines (0291713066 / 0291711211) in the region to enable the Service to respond timely to real emergencies to save more lives and properties.

The Command not withstanding this significant decrease in the number of fire and related incidents recorded in 2023, is poised with the support of the public to assiduously work to reduce the rate of fires through its continuous and intensified public safety education dubbed, “FIRE SAFETY ACTION YEAR” by the end of the first quarter to achieve further reduction in the fire figures.

The Command wishes to thank the good people of the Northern Region for their understanding, cooperation and support in preventing fires and other related incidents in the Region.

SOURCE: PR UNIT, GNFS, N/R

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