The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in the Ashanti Region recorded a total of 656 fire disaster cases as at the end of 2022.
This figure was a 101 increase over the 555 cases, which were recorded in 2021.
Divisional Officer Three (DOIII), Peter Addai, the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO), detailing these to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, said in 2022, domestic fires recorded 431 cases, bushfires were 197 and industrial fire outbreaks were 28 cases.
Out of these outbreaks, 15 people lost their lives.
DOIII Addai indicated that, the cost of damages for 2022 fire incidents was estimated at GH₵27,453,325.00.
These mishaps according to the PRO, were mainly due to the careless use of electricity and electrical appliances, unattended cooking, misuse of naked lights, fires emanating from gas leakages and indiscriminate burning of rubbish and bushes.
The GNFS had to battle with ageing fire tenders, inadequate resources, and attitude of some residents towards fire safety precautions.
Again, some districts did not have fire stations and fire stations that provided fire cover for such districts would have to travel long distances to respond to fire calls, a situation which led to delays and extensive fire destructions.
DOIII Addai noted that, notwithstanding the challenges and depths of fire disasters, the GNFS was poised to intensify a regional fire safety educational campaign especially, house-to-house, and religious centers, adding that, the service had already activated regional Anti-Bush Fire Campaigns as the dry season sets in.
Again, the GNFS was going to liaise with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to create fire posts within major markets that did not have them and conduct regular fire inspections and audits at public premises within the region.
DOIII Addai called on the district assemblies which were owners of the various market centers to properly plan the markets to ease congestion and improve access to emergency services.
He urged Ghanaians to adhere to fire education to safeguard properties and lives.