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19.01.2005 Regional News

Wood processors advised to protect workshops against fires

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Kumasi, Jan 19, GNA - Wood processors have been advised to devote part of their income to the procurement and installation of fire extinguishers to help protect their workshops and lumber against the incidence of fire outbreaks especially during this harmattan season. Togbe Reverend S.K. Fugah, President of the Ghana Tertiary Wood Products Association (GHATEWPA), said fire gadgets were important at the wood workshops since the lumber used at the workshops drastically loose their moisture content during the harmattan season thereby making them very vulnerable to naked fires.

"The standard moisture content of lumber is between 12 and 17 per cent but during the dry season, moisture in the wood falls far below that, thereby making it prone to fires and unattractive when used for the manufacture of products", he added.

Togbe Fugah gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on Thursday on the danger posed by the harmattan to wood processors and their products.

Apart from the installation of fire extinguishers, Togbe Fugah said there was the urgent need for wood processors to also examine electrical wiring at their workshops periodically and make conscious efforts to replace all worn out wires.

Togbe Fugah, who is also the patron of the Wood Workers Association of Ghana (WAG), was not happy that even though electricity was the main source of power being used by wood processors in their jobs, most of the wiring in the workshops were worn out and needed replacement.

He said the provision of fire extinguishers and examination of the wiring systems of workshops alone was not enough unless the wood processors were well educated on the use of the gadgets to ensure the safety of their equipment.

Togbe Fugah suggested that officials of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) could be invited occasionally to enlighten them more on the safe use of the fire extinguishers and electricity.

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