The Ghana Fire Protection Service Providers (GFPSP) has strongly advised Government to re-look at the laws that regulate the security and safety industries and strategize effectively for remedial action targeted at avoiding disasters in Ghana.
A statement signed by Mr Godwin Kofi Akuamoah, the Public Relations Officer of GFPSP and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday said: “We are saddened and sympathize with the victims of the recent fire disaster at Atomic Junction which claimed a number of lives and injured several others.
“We unreservedly condemn the current practices on fire safety and control measures in the country which we believe compromises the security of all around the country.
“It is sad that within a period of three years, Ghana has experienced eight gas explosions with the current incident at Atomic junction excluding explosions at homes, restaurants, and other facilities that store LPG for their daily usage.”
The statement said as professional industry players, it believes these explosions could be traced to different causes not limiting them to no or inadequate risk assessments conducted to identify hazards at these Oil and Gas Installations, Absence of control measures put in place to prevent the recurrent fire outbreaks, and lack of well-structured contingency plans in combating such fire outbreaks.
Others it said were negligence in adhering to safety precautions and laid down regulations spelt out for construction and management of these infrastructures, lack of stringent supervision by regulators for the implementation of the laws, absence of appropriate sanctions to sanitize the systems and importantly, the lack of coordination between regulatory bodies and industry players for effective policy implementation.
The statement said the prudent way forward was to ensure conduction of good risk assessments to identify potential hazards, identify and adopt world-wide fire prevention and protection, fire containment, and firefighting systems such as fire walls for gas filling stations.
It added that fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems, hydrants with water and foam storage, gas detectors and monitors which are installed with effective gas spillage control systems, just to mention a few which the association holds strongly will mitigate these challenges if not eradicating them completely.
The statement said the Association recommends the underpinning factor of public education and continuous awareness creation as relevant to the avoidance of future potential fire outbreaks.
“Here, we encourage the media and insurance companies to start playing a leading role in the collective fight in tackling this challenge.
“Review of our laws and regulations of the regulatory bodies and agencies, and a well regulated guideline to regulate we the service providers by bringing professionalism to bear in our various areas of expertise just to mention a few,” the statement said.
“The GFPSP Association will be grateful if owners of premises would take fire safety precautions seriously right from our homes to our working places including hospitality facilities with Ghana National Fire Service intensifying awareness creation campaigns across the country else we fail as a nation.
“Attempts by governments in trying to find solutions to these gas explosions should not be limited to the consideration of oil and gas related fires but also give the needed attention to other areas with potential fire threats such as electrical installations, public buildings, residential premises, and all other facilities that will need one or more fire protection systems.
“The GFPSP Association pledges as industry players to offer our maximum support to the government and our dear nation in combating this security and safety challenge that we face currently.
“We welcome the new Chief Fire Officer at his new appointment and wish him well in his endeavours to curb fire outbreak and we promise to throw our unflinching support behind him in the fight against undesired fires in the country,’’ the statement said.