The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has declared 2021 and beyond as ‘Operation No More Market Fires’ and called on traders to adhere to fire safety measures in the markets to achieve the agenda.
Divisional Officer Grade I (DOI) Evans Osei Owusu, the Greater Accra Regional Fire Safety Officer, made the call when personnel of the Adentan Fire Station, in collaboration with the Ogbojo Assembly, embarked on fire safety education at the Ogbojo Market, near Madina.
It was to intensify public sensitisation on market fires and how to prevent and handle them.
DOI Owusu said fire prevention was a shared responsibility and appealed to the traders and transport operators to take the safety awareness seriously and observe its ‘dos and don’ts’.
He encouraged them to own simple fire extinguishers so they could control fire before calling the GNFS personnel.
DOI Owusu said non-adherence to simple fire safety measures like cooking with strict supervision, engaging professional electricians in electrical installations, and periodically conducting electrical audit of markets could cause disasters.
Ms Gladys Addo Osei, the Assembly Woman of the Ogbojo Electoral Area, commended the Fire Service for deploying personnel to market centres to intensify public sensitisation, conduct risk assessments, surveillance, respond to emergencies and protect strategic installations.
She appealed to the GNFS to hold the exercise regularly to forestall fire outbreaks.
The fire personnel took the traders and transport operators through handling fire extinguishers, possible causes of fire and how to handle minor fires or prevent them.
Over GHS24 million worth of property were destroyed by fire in the country from January to June, 2021.
The GNFS said the destructions were from more than 3,000 fire incidents recorded for the first six months of the year.
The Accra Region alone has recorded four major market fires from January to October 16, 2021, the Regional Fire Commander, Alhaji Nuhu Gibril, told the Ghana News Agency.