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20.03.2009 General News

Retired Engineer urges safe use of electricity

By Richard Attenkah, Tema - Ghanaian Chronicle

Godfred Duah Boateng, a retired Engineer from the Volta River Authority (VRA) has called on the general public to have all sockets in their homes checked by an electrician from time to time, in order to reduce the risk of getting electrocuted.

According to him, despite the usefulness of electricity it also has the potential to cause shock and death to people, adding that people get electrocuted normally through wrong connection of domestic appliances, wrong wiring of the premises, including poor earthing and the use of very inferior socket outlets and plugs which fit loosely.

Mr. Boateng made the call when he launched his new book entitled -“How to Prevent Electrocution in Your Home” at the TDC Club House in Tema last Wednesday. He disclosed that careful study of the book would enable the public to acquire the knowledge and the understanding of the safe use of electricity in their homes and thereby prevent electrocution.

He added that lack of regular technical audits and proper routine maintenance on wiring installations and equipment would not bring out defects and threats for attention, saying; “It is after shock or electrocution takes place that we realize it could have been easily and cheaply prevented”.

Mr. Boateng stated that electrical defects, particular loose contacts could cause electrical appliances like fridges, air conditioners and other motor loads with defective overload devices to consume more power than necessary and they could also cause fire outbreaks.

Nick Opoku, who launched the book hinted that the key to preventing accidents is for all of us to recognize the unsafe acts in order to manage them.

He pointed out that the book is an attempt to provide Ghanaians with a safety manual which would aid us to know the ways of overcoming electrical disasters in our homes.

Mr. Opoku advised the public not to purchase electrical gadgets on the market which do not come with manuals, since it makes it difficult to operate such equipment, and most often than not it ends up putting our own lives in danger.

He continued that changing of bulbs incorrectly could cause severe harm, adding that all institutions in the country must have copies of the booklet on their premises for electrical operators to have a thorough study of its contents.

Mrs. Akosua Budu, a teacher at Lil Angels School and daughter of the author, disclosed that the children had to help to sponsor the publication of the book.

She stated that the objective of this was to help make all Ghanaians have access to the book at a time electricity supply has been extended to all district capitals in the country, with about 50% of the population enjoying it.

The first copy of the book was auctioned for GH¢ 500.00 by the chairman of the occasion, Brian Adomako. Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) ordered for 10,000 copies of the book since they saw it as a means of spreading good news to the public.

Mr. Boateng served as the Director of the Generation Systems, Engineering Design and Construction and Technical Services at VRA and also served briefly as Director of Power at the Ministry of Energy and finally as the Project Director of the Bui Hydro electric power project for five years.