The Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Julius Aalebkure Kuunuor, has urged the public to take proactive steps to prevent fires in their homes, offices, workplaces and communities, stressing that it is not enough to simply react to fires.
He said fire management was not only a shared responsibility, but a civic duty.“This, therefore, requires a concerted effort from all of us, including government agencies, businesses, educational institutions, and most importantly, the public,” he said.CFO Kuunuor said this at the launch of the 2023 Fire Safety Week in Accra, and added that less fire outbreaks were recorded in the first half of this year, as compared to the same period in 2022.
A total of 3,819 fire outbreaks were recorded nationwide between January and July this year, 215 less incidents than the 4,034 fires recorded at the same period in 2022, representing a rate of reduction of 5.32 per cent.
Fires recorded from January to July 2023 revealed a downward trend from 827 in January to 371 fires in July.
However, there was a slight increase in the fires recorded in July 2023 (371) as compared to the 351 recorded in July 2022, representing a 5.7 increase in respect of the month of July 2023 only.
At least, 1,216 out on arrival fire cases were recorded for the period under review in 2023, with 1, 271 cases for the same period in 2022.
The phenomenon led to the salvage of properties worth over GH¢3 million in the first half year of 2023.
CFO Kuunuor also bemoaned the profound impact of fires over the decades on livelihoods, businesses, communities, individuals and the environment, and stressed the need for the service to focus on educating the populace about fire hazards, promoting responsible behaviours, and implementing effective fire safety measures in their homes, workplaces and public spaces towards the prevention of preventable fires which account for 60 to 70 per cent of fires recorded in this country.
The Chief Fire Officer expressed the service’s commitment to enhance its fire safety infrastructure, improving its emergency response capabilities, and expanding its public outreach programmes.
“We will continue to invest in the training of our firefighters and personnel, equipping them with the latest contemporary knowledge of fire prevention, and fostering partnerships with local communities to ensure safer communities,” he stated.
CFO Kuunuor said the theme: “60 Years of Existence: Fire Safety, the Choice for a Safer Environment” for this year’s event, emphasised the significance of taking preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of fire incidents.