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20.02.2006 Regional News

No fire preventive equipment at public buildings in Ho

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Ho, Feb. 20, GNA - Most of the public buildings within Ho Municipality are without basic equipment to manage fire disasters despite several warnings by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS). They include government offices, hotels, hostels, restaurants and video houses have no fire extinguisher or displayed old and unserviceable ones.

Mr. Emmanuel Sakutey Addo, Acting Head of the Municipal Fire Service disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) last Friday in Ho.

He said the impression created during outreach programmes was that public officers did not take issues on fire prevention on their premises serious.

Mr. Addo, who is an Assistant Divisional Officer, said the Service was therefore; sourcing funds to organize seminars for the management of both public and private organizations within the Municipality to sensitise them on the importance of provision of fire prevention equipment at their premises. He said the Legislative Instrument (LI) that required estate developers especially of public buildings to present their drawings to the Chief Fire Officer for inspection and approval was not being observed.

Mr Addo said vital provisions of the LI were, that the buildings had safe and effective means of escape during fires, adequate fire fighting equipment and availability of fire detection and warning systems.

Regarding bushfires, he said punishment provided under PNDC law 229 was not punitive enough and suggested that chiefs and elders of the various communities were assisted by district assemblies to adopt and enforce their own local sanctions for such offences. Mr Addo suggested that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) worked out an arrangement that would make chiefs custodians of power transmission poles under their jurisdiction.

He said this could reduce the incidence of bush fires destroying power transmission poles.

Mr Addo complained about false alarm on fire outbreak received at the Fire office in Ho and warned those involved to put an end to it. He said the service would collaborate with telecommunication companies to apprehend such people.

Mr Addo cited a caller to the service in Ho recently saying, "There is fire in my mouth, come and quench it you rogues, and dropped the receiver even before our receptionist could say anything."