Ministries Fire Station hold fire safety program for traders

Accra� Personnel of the Ministries Fire Station on Tuesday held a special Fire Safety programme at the Tema Station Market in Accra and its surrounding areas.

The exercise, which lasted for about three hours, saw the Fire Service officials, in collaboration with officials from the Ghana Police Service and the Electricity Company of Ghana, educating store owners, market women, drivers, among others on the need to avoid practices that would increase the possibility of fire outbreaks.

Divisional Officer Grade Two (DOII) Naomi Ofori-Adubea, District Commander of the Ministries Fire Station, who supervised the exercise, educated the traders and market women on core fire prevention measures.

The measures include minimising fire outbreak, risk factors like keeping highly flammable material under risky conditions, the need for people like fish smokers to make sure their fires are out before they leave, and the need to minimise risk factors that precipitated fire outbreaks as much as possible.

Those that engage in ironing in the market should check to see that they have switched off their appliances at all times, she said adding that some people due to their busy schedule cook in the market.

Cooking increases the chances of fire out breaks, and this should be done outside the market place, she said.

DOII Ofori-Adubea also said there was the need to create what she termed gang ways or access routes for smooth movement.

She said setting up dwelling places in the market also increased the chances of fire outbreaks, because fire usage was a typical feature of home dwelling, which posed a risk to the typical market place setting.

The traders were schooled to do away with electrical connections which were below standard, being extra careful with the use of open flames, and the need to always check and ensure that all sources of fire usage such as gas cylinders were in good condition.

A number of traders said they appreciated the knowledge they had gained from the exercise, which they said was much needed.

I think this exercise should be repeated and spread across our markets as much as possible, said Kofi Agyei, a second-hand clothes dealer.

DOII Ofori-Adubea told the Ghana News Agency that the objective of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) was not only to put out undesired fires when they had already started, but also to prevent them from occurring.

She said it was unfortunate that market fires appeared to be increasing in the country, in spite of intensive fire education programmes that were organised from time to time by the GNFS, considering the fact that the fires often caused considerable damage to lives and property.

Everyone should have about three minutes to do proper checks before leaving the market, to ensure that there is very little possibility of a fire outbreak, DOII Ofori-Adubea said.

Source: Ghana News Agency