The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) says it is irresponsible for vehicle owners to fail to purchase extinguishers for their vehicles to save lives and property during a fire outbreak.
Divisional Officer (DOIII) Abdul Wasiu Hudu, the Central Regional Public Relations Officer of the Service, told the Ghana News Agency that the reasons for some drivers not having fire extinguishers were beyond understanding, considering the huge sums of monies spent in acquiring those vehicles.
“The vehicular fires are such that before the firefighters get to the scene, the vehicle might have burnt beyond repairs,” he noted.
DOIII Hudu expressed worry that in the Region alone, about 36 vehicles were lost to fire in the first half of 2023, as against 32 recorded in 2022.
“Majority of the fires are preventable if drivers had serviceable fire extinguishers at the time the fire started,” he said.
“A fire extinguisher is even more important in your vehicle than your spare tyre.”
He said the trend was worrying, particularly on major highways on the Accra-Mankessim-Cape Coast, Cape Coast-Assin Fosu –Assin Praso, and the Komenda stretch of the Accra-Takoradi Highway.
Others were the Twifo Praso, Diaso and Dunkwa-on-Offin roads, he noted and pledged the Service’s commitment to liaising with all its stakeholders to crack down on recalcitrant drivers having no fire extinguishers in their vehicles.
The Service, in collaboration with other security institutions, is vigorously enforcing regulations to reduce the incidents of vehicular fires across the region.
Public and institutional education on fire safety has also been intensified through media platforms and durbars.
DOIII Hudu expressed concern about the increasing spate of general fire outbreaks and appealed to residents to take safety precautions seriously to prevent fires.
He advised the public to ensure that they put off all electrical appliances before leaving the house and the workplace while urging food vendors in the markets to properly extinguish all fires before leaving.
“We are committed to ensuring fire safety, prevention and combating fires to guarantee public safety. Fire safety is a shared responsibility, we all need to come on board to accept and implement the safety tips being released by the GNFS.”
“Also, let us be mindful of whatever we use fire for,” he cautioned.