Mr Yaro Kasambata, the Public Relations Manager of the NPA, said the institution is concerned about the fire out breaks caused by petroleum products that occurred in some parts of the country leading to the loss of live and properties.

He said petroleum products are dangerous but friendly and useful if handled with care and urged consumers to exercise extra care in its usage.

Mr Kasambata said records at the Burns Unit of the Korle Bu hospital indicates that 32 percent of burns were related to petroleum products, describing it as unfortunate.

He gave the advice at a media briefing held in Takoradi as part activities heralding the launch of this year’s “Consumer Services Awareness Week” that would take place at Axim in the Nzema East District of the Western Region on July 19.

He said for a start, Premix Fuel Landing Beach Committees, fisherfolks, the coastal communities and drivers in the Western Region would be targeted for the campaign.

Mr Kasambata said petroleum products -Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene, and Premix Fuel serve various important purposes in the promotion of the socio-economic sector and for domestic use, however, it can cause havoc if it is not handled with care.

He said if applied safely we can work with petroleum products without encountering problems and appealed to consumers to adhere strictly to the petroleum regulations.

At the landing beaches at Shama, the fishermen expressed gratitude to the members of the NPA for the education.

They said though they were aware of the dangers in handling fuel, little did they know that mobile phones and excessive heat emanating from an object on getting closer to a petroleum product could also ignite fire.

“We all knew that premix fuel could cause fire outbreak but we did not know that phones were dangerous because it is common among us to speak on mobile phones while serving the product so the education has been beneficial”, Mr Issa Fynn, a fisherman told the GNA after the education.

After listening to the presentation, the fishermen suggested that landing beaches must be sited far away from residential areas as most of the sites were closer to homes.

All the fishermen of Aboadze, Abuesi, Kesewokan, Amenano and Shama-Bentsir complained about irregular supply of the premix fuel, saying the weekly supply of only 60 drums to serve about 800 canoes were woefully inadequate “thus forcing us to buy fuel from outside go supplement our allocation”.

They said fishing is their main source of income therefore without the premix fuel for us to go fishing we will starve.

Mr Kweku Sersah-Johnson, Chairman of the National Premix Fuel Committee, said the relevance of the work of fishermen to the economy had convinced the government to subsidize the product and their concerns would be addressed in due course.

Mr Jacob Allotey-Jacobs, board member of the NPA, suggested to the fishermen to erect sheds over the landing beaches to avoid exposure of the product to excessive sunlight.

He said presently, there is no law banning the storage of fuel in gallons in the homes, but considering the hazardous nature of the product people must exercise care and refrain from the practice.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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