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23.12.2005 Regional News

90% of E/R fire outbreaks in were caused by electrical faults

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Koforidua, Dec.23, GNA - Ninety per cent of all domestic fire outbreaks in the Eastern Region were caused by electrical faults following investigations conducted by the Ghana National Fire Service after those incidents.

This was disclosed by the Eastern Regional chairman of the Ghana Electrical Contractors Association(GECA), Mr Eric Addo-Tetebo, at their annual end-of-year meeting at Koforidua on Thursday. He said the fire-outbreaks had been as a result of self-styled contractors who managed to acquire official stamp of staff of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and were contracted by innocent persons to wire their buildings.

According to Mar Addo-Tetebo, research had also shown that most of the buildings that fell prey to that incident were old buildings for which the contractors who wired them could not be reached for any sanction to be taken against.

He noted that most of the old buildings in the region had been detected to face such hazards due to the poor wiring and the weary nature of the wires.

According to Mr Addo-Tetebo, following that detection, the members of GECA had met with the Landlords/Ladies Association in the region and advised them to rewire their buildings to forestall such incidents but to no avail.

He, therefore, appealed to the appropriate authorities to enact bye-laws that would persuade landlords of old buildings to re-wire their houses due to the old nature of the wires to forestall fire outbreaks. Mr. Addo-Tetebo asked the public to contract only licensed contractors by demanding to see their licenses or contact the secretariat for contractors to do their jobs.

The National President of GECA, Mr P.A Walker, said the association would introduce sanctions on members who did shoddy work as a means to arrest the situation.

He noted that the poor wiring did not only resulted in fire outbreaks but also contributed to high consumption of electrical energy due to the omission of some materials, which sometimes the quack contractors do omit to include because of the cost. He, therefore, appealed to the public to ensure that they had contracted the right professionals to do their work because it could land them in many troubles.

The Regional Consultant of the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited(AESL), Mr Sakyimo Atongo, announced that the Regional Co-ordinating Council(RCC) had made it a policy for the AESL to sub-contract the electrical works of every building they consulted to members of the association as a means of sustaining the association. He observed with concern, however, that most of the wiring being done by the contractors in the region were not up to standard and advised them to do what was termed as "conduit or surface wiring" to prevent any fire hazards.

Mr Atongo assured the members of his outfit's support in providing them with resource persons on proper wiring when they organized training workshops and seminars.

Five persons who had served the association in various capacities in the region for a long period were presented with prizes.

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