The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene, has called on the public to be careful with materials that can easily ignite fire to reduce the incidence of fire outbreaks, especially during this harmattan season.
The minister urged people in the region to handle naked fire in cigarettes, firewood, cooking stoves, among other sources with utmost care in order to reduce the incidents of fire outbreaks
According to Justina Owusu Banahene, there is a need to protect lives and property during the harmattan season.
The minister who sounded this note of warning during an interactive section with some pressmen in her office in Sunyani stated that this warning became necessary in order to avoid disasters in the region this season.
According to her, “as our environment becomes dusty and hazy with dryness to everything including trees, wooden items, leaves and furniture, we urge residents to be extremely careful with fire so as to prevent outbreaks because fire is nobody’s friend.
“Citizens will notice that there has been a change in the weather condition and as a result, the citizens ought to take serious precautionary measures by making sure that they install fire extinguishers in homes and offices,” she reiterated
She stated that motorists should ensure that they have fire extinguishers in their vehicles, maintain speed limits and observe road signs
She warned citizens to avoid bush and solid waste burning during this period as this might lead to fire outbreaks.
She again advised Ghanaians against the storage of petrol and other inflammable materials at homes, offices, shops and markets as their storage could aid in fire outbreaks, especially during this harmattan period when virtually all objects in the environment are dry and combustible.
Justina Owusu Banahene further urged residents of the region to always switch off electrical appliances in their offices at the close of work and at home when leaving for work or other endeavours as a way of preventing fire disasters which were often rampant during the harmattan period.
Justina Owusu Banahene further urged drivers to beware of the hazy weather condition which had reduced visibility to less than 10m, stressing that motorists should ensure that all parts of their vehicles are in good condition before embarking on any journey.
This is a season when objects of various sorts become very dry and so easily combustible with the least contact with fire. The statistics of fire around this time every year is high – a reason we should be careful lest we spark avoidable fires and cause harm and even fatalities.
The Regional Minister, acknowledge efforts the Ghana National Fire service (GNFS) is making to educate citizens on the place of safety when using LPG and other inflammable stuff, however, sustaining this education would go a long way in creating the needed awareness in handling domestic gas stoves to avoid fires.
She noted that Taking things for granted should be avoided in our relationships with the environment. We have treaded on this tangent for far too long, the fallouts too glaring to be ignored. The lives which have been lost through such fires and even infernos are many.
She affirms that Fire outbreaks have caused much anguish in homes because breadwinners have been killed and properties destroyed beyond recovery.
Mad, Justina Owusu Banahene caked on the Ghana National Fire Service should join hands with the various municipal and district assemblies within the region and even NADMO in educating the people about fires, how they are started and response mechanisms.
“That is the way to go. Education is very important in matters of safety. Schools at all levels should benefit from education, including, market places. With the rising statistics of LPG use in the country, especially in rural areas, the importance of education cannot be overemphasized,” she concluded
Seth Opoku Agyemang, Contributor