Available statistics indicates that the Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) recorded 427 fire outbreaks between January to July this year 2012, compared to 159 fire outbreaks with the same period last year.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, (ACFO) Kwame Larbi-Apraku, Brong Ahafo Regional Fire Officer, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani on Wednesday.
He expressed concern about the increase in fire outbreaks in the Region and said because of the alarming situation, a committee had been established to investigate the numerous fire outbreaks and would soon come out with its findings to help decrease the menace.
ACFO Larbi-Apraku said within the period the Region recorded 178 domestic fire outbreaks, 129 bushfires and five institutional fire outbreaks while within the same period last year, 80 domestic fire outbreaks, 35 bushfires and no institutional fire outbreak was recorded.
He said for the period under review, 53 vehicles had fire outbreaks, 17 from electrical fault, 15 commercial fires and 14 industrial fire outbreaks.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Fire Officer said most of the domestic fire outbreaks were due to wrong usage of gas cylinders at home adding that ?some people placed the cylinder very close to the stove while others placed stones on top of their cylinders and when there are leakages worsened the situation?.
He said most parents also left the cylinders on after use and their children took advantage to switch matches on them to demonstrate its usage especially when their parents were not around.
ACFO Larbi-Apraku therefore, urged parents to place cylinders at places not easily accessible for their children to reach, and advised that all cylinders must be turned off immediately after use and must not be confined in rooms and kitchens where there was not enough ventilation.
He said in addition to education in the mass media, the Directorate had introduced community, house-to-house education and even extended it to educational institutions to create awareness among the youth and elderly about the dangers of fire and demonstrate to them the proper ways of using gas cylinders and immediate action during a fire outbreak.
He advised the public to be extra careful about fire ?since fire can be a good and a bad master?.
ACFO Larbi-Apraku advised the general public to tolerate fire educational officers in their homes and listen to them since they were there to ensure their welfare.