Ghana The failure of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to provide shade for its meters installed outside homes has been identified to be the major cause of fire outbreaks at Weija and its surrounding communities in Accra.
According to the Weija Municipal Fire Officer, Mr Isaac Saah, more than 80 per cent of all fire outbreaks recorded within Weija and surrounding communities emerged from the ECGs electric poles.
Explaining how the fire outbreaks occurred, he said; When the sun shines, it has a direct contact with the prepaid meters and this exposes them to danger. The problem becomes worse during the rainy season, since all the prepaid meters installed outside do not have a shade to protect them. Water easily gets inside and it catches fire.
Mr Saah said unless ECG developed a new strategy to protect its prepaid meters erected on electric poles, the situation would still persist.
He disclosed this to the Daily Graphic at an event to educate residents and businesses at Weija on the need to adhere to fire safety measures.
Fire safety week
This years fire safety week, which is on the theme: Achieving our 2017 target through effective public education, is aimed at engaging schools, homes and businesses on the need to adhere to fire safety measures.
As part of the activities for this years programme, personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) nationwide would be deployed to various homes to educate the people on basic fire safety measures.
The programme was part of the Home Safety campaign launched last year.
In the first two and half months of this year, there have been a total of 1,022 fire outbreaks in the country.
Three persons lost their lives, while three others sustained injuries.
There were 371 domestic fires, 206 bush fires while commercial and vehicular fires accounted for 143 and 117 respectively.
Outlining some of the measures to help combat fire outbreaks, Mr Saah stressed the need for homeowners to make room for safety when constructing their houses.
Ghanaians are more conscious of security than safety. When people are putting up a building, they will erect heavy security equipment and barricade themselves inside without any escape route should anything happen. This is very dangerous.
People are not ready to present themselves for fire safety education no matter what we do. Some of them do not see the relevance of having to participate in fire safety education, he further indicated.
Asked what the GNFS intended to do this year to minimise domestic fire outbreaks, Mr Saah said the service intended to intensify its public education and also carry out a house-to-house sensitisation programme.