The Upper East Region recorded 166 cases of fire outbreaks with one death in 2019, statistics from the Regional Office of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has revealed.
The figure represented 121 cases less than the number of fire outbreaks in 2018, where within January 1 to December 31, the Region experienced 287 cases, and 311 in 2017.
The statistics showed that domestic fire outbreaks dominated, recording 68 cases of the total, though lower than what was recorded in 2018 and 2017, which were 116 and 140 cases respectively.
Mr George Asante Wiafe, the Regional Fire Officer, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, said there were 23 cases of commercial and electrical fires while bush and vehicular fires were 16 and 17 respectively.
The year, which witnessed more fire cases in Bawku and Bolgatanga Municipalities than all the other districts, also recorded nine accident fire cases, three crown fire cases and three institutional fire cases.
Mr Wiafe said the impressive records being chalked in recent years was as a result of intensive public sensitisation by his outfit on the dangers of fires and the need to prioritise safety measures, through the media, especially radio.
The Service also organised outreach programmes in the markets and lorry parks to drum home fire safety compliance.
He said through the support of World Vision, many fire volunteers in most communities were trained.
He said reducing fire cases was a shared responsibility from all stakeholders and it was, therefore, imperative for citizens to prioritise fire safety measures and comply with the rules and regulations regarding fires.
Mr Wiafe said the Fire Service was determined to further reduce the cases this year and appealed to media houses, especially radio stations, to give it free airtime to continue with the education processes.
Refresher training would also be carried out to effectively equip personnel with the necessary modern tenets of fire control and management to enable them to handle emergencies.
House to house education approach would also be used to educate families on the need to take fire safety measures seriously.
"This year, 2020, we want to record zero fire cases. So our personnel would be moving from house to house, especially in the interior... and the outreach programmes would continue."
"So please when our people come around accept them and cooperate effectively with them to help reduce fire cases to save lives and property," he added.
Mr Wiafe apppealed to stakeholders including the Municipal and District Assemblies, the National Petroleum Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency to desist from zoning high risk places for the establishment of fuel stations.
He further appealed to citizens to avoid seeking shelter or parking their cars at fuel stations to avoid fires.