Fire Service Warns Against Substandard Gadgets

The Ghana National Fire Service has cautioned the general public on the use of LPG and other fire triggers during the harmattan season. According to the Public Relations Officer of the service, James Kwarteng, the use of substandard electronic gadgets, and the careless use of LPG could trigger fire outbreaks especially during the festive season.

In an interview with Citi News, James Kwarteng said all necessary precautions should be adhered to in order for people to stay safe.

We should be mindful of the activities we involve in. As we enjoy ourselves, we should be careful how we handle LPG. If we are not careful, you will get burnt.

We should also be mindful of the kind of electrical gadgets we are using. There are substandard ones especially the extension boards. Any extension board which gets its cord heated when plugged in means there is something wrong with it, he added.

Fire during festive seasons

In Ghana, residential and industrial fires during the holiday seasons are more frequent than at any other time of the year.

The upsurge in fake electrical cables on the market, poor safety practices among others has always been blamed for most domestic fires.

Several lives have also been lost in such periods.

It becomes more worrying during the Christmas and New Year celebration due to the harmattan season, forcing regulators to educate the public to be careful when using potentially inflammable devices in their homes especially during the season. 70% of electrical cable brands in Ghana substandard

In 2017, a nationwide surveillance conducted by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) revealed that more than 70 per cent of all imported electrical cable brands on the market were substandard and could cause fires.

Out of 22 electrical cable brands sampled for laboratory testing, only two, which were manufactured locally, passed the critical safety requirement test for conductor resistance at the GSA Cable Laboratory in Accra.

The test showed that 20 of the brands, all imported products, were not designed or test-approved to meet the requirements in safety standards.

The Director General of the GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo, said that 19 out of the 20 imported brands of electrical cables failed the critical safety requirement for conductor resistance and this is dangerous because such cables can cause fires.

He explained that the GSA, as part of its consumer protection and import inspection mandate under the Standards Act, had begun the testing of imported products and market surveillance.

As part of the exercise, 22 brands of electrical cables were purchased from the market in Accra for laboratory tests to prove their authenticity. Out of the number, two were locally manufactured brands and the remaining 20 were imported ones.

Source: Modern Ghana