By John Elliot HAGAN, Accra
Figures from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) indicate that 44 people perished while 64 sustained various degrees of injury in fire disasters in 2018.
The 2018 deaths represent a 33% increase, compared to the 33 people who perished in 2017.
Also, injured persons recorded a 29% drop from 90 in 2016 to 64 in 2017.
Additionally, properties worth GH₵28,923,847 were lost to fire across the country last year.
This figure represents a 7.9% reduction from the GH₵31,201,901.23 worth of properties destroyed in 2017.
Each year, Ghana records incidences of fire disasters, which usually leads to death and economic losses.
Regional breakdown of deaths
The regional breakdown of deaths is Central – 19, Greater Accra – 13, Ashanti – four, and Western – three, with Tema and Brong Ahafo recording one death each.
No deaths in five regions
Eastern, Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta did not record deaths from fire outbreaks during the period.
Regional breakdown of injuries
The regional breakdown of persons injured includes Western – 20, Greater Accra – 12, Eastern – 12, Upper East – eight, Tema – five, Ashanti – four, Brong Ahafo – two, and Central – one.
No injuries in three regions
There were no injuries in the Northern, Upper West and Volta regions.
5,831 Fire outbreaks in 2018
The total number of fire outbreaks in 2018 was 5,831, far higher than the 4,759 recorded in 2017, representing an increase of 16.2%.
Ashanti Region topped with 947 cases
The Ashanti Region topped regional breakdown of fire outbreaks with 947 cases, followed by Greater Accra with 921.
The rest are Central – 643, Eastern – 434, Brong Ahafo – 521, Tema – 377, Western – 328, Upper East – 243, Northern – 241, Volta – 183, and Upper West – 95.
Regional breakdown of properties destroyed
The Greater Accra, Central and Upper West regions did not have value of properties destroyed.
However, the breakdown of cost of properties destroyed in the remaining regions includes Ashanti – GH₵14 million (GH₵ 21,502,302); Brong Ahafo – GH₵5,066,705; Western – GH₵1.2 million (GH₵1,203,598); Volta – GH₵118,630; Northern – GH₵262,625; Eastern – GH₵661,532; Upper East – GH₵78,455; and Tema Region – GH₵30,000.
865 Bushfires recorded in 2018
Last year, 865 bushfires were recorded, which is higher than that of 2017, which recorded 513 cases of bushfires.
The causes of fire outbreaks have been categorised into domestic, industrial, vehicular, institutional, electrical, commercial, bushfire and others.
Speaking to The Finder on the issue, acting Public Relations of the GNFS, DOI James Oheneba Yaw Kwateng blamed the increasing spate of fire outbreaks on the disregard of fire safety rules.
He mentioned that the overloading of electrical sockets, improper and careless use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), improper handling of flammable liquids and open electrical gadgets in homes and offices, among others, as the main cause of fire outbreaks.
DOI recommended that institutions and organisations should review their safety rules to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations.
Source: The Finder