Fire Service asked to publish list of unsafe buildings in Ghana

Host of Late Edition on 3FM 92.7, Alfred Ocansey, has asked the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to publish a list of its annual and periodic fire audits on public buildings for the public to know those that are safe. He made the call when he hosted Mr Prince Billy Anaglate, Divisional Fire Officer of the GNFS on 3FM 92.7 in the aftermath of the fire that ravaged GN Groupe offices on the premises of Regency Hotel in Accra. Mr Anaglate had in an answer to a question said the Service does not publish findings of audits it conducts on public buildings, saying they are submitted to the appropriate authorities and the necessary action taken against them. He said the Service has at different times closed down businesses and buildings that have been found to be unsuitable or which did not meet fire safety standards, noting that the Service has never published a list of those buildings. The GNFS conducts hundreds of fire audits across the country on many fire outbreaks, provides licenses for the construction of petrol and gas stations, and inspects both small and large key installations such as warehouses and factories that have the potential of impacting on the public, but none of the findings are published for the benefit of the public. Mr Ocansey argued that the publication of the audits reports was not just important for ensuring the safety of the public, “but it is their right to know which buildings are safe and unsafe, so that it helps them make sound decisions on how they interact with or in such places. “You (Fire Service) must let us know that this or that building is not safe. Then we will avoid it. The media can also then publish them and make people avoid such facilities. We do not have to wait till a disaster strikes,” he said. Per GNFS statistics, Ghana has recorded 2,469 fire outbreaks within the first quarter of the year as against 2,036 within the same period in 2015; representing 21.27 per cent increase, with majority of them attributable to faulty electrical wiring. Greater Accra topped with 31 fire outbreaks followed by Ashanti with 21 and Brong Ahafo with six. Central came next with three, and two each for Eastern, Northern, Western and Volta, with Upper East recording one. Upper West recorded zero.

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By Gideon Sackitey|3FM||Ghana]]>