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Harmattan: Stop burning waste indiscriminately – GNFS

The Ashanti Regional Fire Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has cautioned Ghanaians to desist from burning rubbish indiscriminately during the harmattan season.

 In a statement issued by the Fire Command’s Public Relations’ Department, it said, it has rolled out an intensive fire safety education programme aimed at educating the masses living in residential communities, schools, market centers, worship centers, places of work and farming communities.

 The statement further advised Ghanaians to desist from misuse of electricity, electrical gadgets and stop engaging in illegal connections.

 “Members of the general public are to desist from activities such as misuse of electricity, electrical gadgets, illegal electrical connections, indiscriminate burning of rubbish/waste materials and disposal of smoking materials such as glowing cigarette butts, lit mosquito coils, faggots, unattended cooking, poor handling and misuse of naked lights such as lit candles, lit matches and lighters, poor storage and handling of flammables and combustibles that could lead to fire outbreaks,” the statement advised.

The GNFS entreated home owners, residential developers, media houses and industries to liaise with its personnel to get their workers trained on fire prevention and safety.

Read GNFS statement below:

PUBLIC NOTICE MAINTAINING A HIGH SENSE OF FIRE SAFETY CONSCIOUSNESS DURING THIS HARMATTAN SEASON

As part of our mandate to prevent and manage undesired fires as well as to ensure public safety in the region, the Ashanti Regional Fire Command of the Ghana National Fire Service wishes to inform its clienteles and the general public to adhere to basic fire safety principles and maintain a high sense of fire safety consciousness especially during this stark harmattan which will be characterized by desiccating weather conditions.

In order to minimize the rate of fire and related incidents in the region during this harmattan season, the Regional Fire Command has rolled out an intensive Public Fire Safety Education programme which is aimed at the masses living, using and working at the following premises such asresidential communities, schools, market centres, worship centres, places of work and farming communities. Our expectations from the general public during this harmattan season are as follows:

1. Members of the general public are to desist from activities such as misuse of electricity, electrical gadgets, illegal electrical connections; indiscriminate burning of rubbish/waste materials and disposal of smoking materials such as glowing cigarette butts, lit mosquito coils, faggots, etc.; unattended cooking; poor handling and misuse of naked lights such as lit candles, lit mosquito coils, lit matches and lighters; poor storage and handling of flammables and combustibles that could lead to fire outbreaks.

2. Members of the general public are to desist from setting fires without any control measures (such as the presence of fire volunteers, creation of fire belts and the readiness of suppression means which include fire beaters, buckets of water, portable fire extinguishers, etc.,) into the food / cash crop farms, natural vegetation and plantations either for fun / field clearing / the supply of certain forest products / hunting / traditional, cultural and religious reasons.

3. Members of the general public are to desist from blocking fire hydrants (especially the screw down type) with structures such as kiosks, stalls, metal containers as well as waste and/ rubbish which provide the Service within our residential, industrial and commercial premises with continuous water for fire management. Again, the public is advised to also refrain from blocking water bodies such as streams, rivers with waste and rubbish which become our alternate sources of water for firefighting during the dry season.

4. Home-Owners/Private Residential Accommodation Developers, Owners/Occupiers of Public Residential Accommodation, Institutions, Entertainment Centres, Media Houses, Industries, Recreational Centres, etc., are to get their workers/staffs trained in fire prevention and safety as well as basic rudiment of fire suppression techniques by the Safety Department of the Service. Owners/Occupiers of the aforementioned premises must ensure to safeguard their premises with the needed life and property protection equipment and again ensure to acquire Fire Certificate for their premises to avoid possible closure and prosecution per the provisions in Fire Precaution (Premises) (Amendment) Regulations, 2016 (L.I. 2249). 

5. Members of the general public are to be each other’s keeper, effect citizen’s arrest and/ ensure to report to appropriate authority (Fire Service / Police) anyone whose activity could lead to fire outbreaks and as well as endanger lives, properties and the environment.

6. Members of the general public are to give us good audience and adhere to the Basic Fire Safety messages that are/will be churned out to them when we come into their domain anytime from now till the end of the dry season.

7. Members of the general public are to desist from calling us late with wrong address for fire and related emergencies but rather call the Fire Service on time (“even if the incident could be managed”) on any of our emergency numbers (192 / 0505001415 / 0507005133) in order for prompt response and quick fire management to save lives and properties.

8. Members of the general public are to desist from playing pranks with our emergency lines to enable those who are genuinely in distress get quick assistance on time to save lives, properties and the environment from the ravages of fire and related incidents.

9. Members of the general public are to treat every firefighter and rescuer with respect and desist from raining insults and pelting stones at them and the fire engine when through no fault of theirs arrive at fire and accident scenes late due to late fire call-up with wrongful address as well as long distance coverage to the emergency scene.

10. Members of the general public are to assist Fire Fighters and Investigators with necessary information to unravel the cause of fire outbreaks as they occur. The Ashanti Regional Fire Command by this notice wishes to solicit for the full support of all stakeholders in the Fire and Public Safety Industry and especially, members of the general public to make our quest and efforts to prevent undesired fires and related incidents during this harmattan season a success as Fire Safety, is the responsibility of all.

ISSUED BY: PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER ASHANTI REGIONAL FIRE SERVICE KUMASI E-MAIL: ashantifireservice@gmail.com 

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