Burglar proof now traps during fire outbreaks

Burglar proof now traps during fire outbreaks
Timothy Osafo Affum, Assistant Chief Fire Officer 1, GNFS

By: Maltiti Sayida Sadick

“What I have seen about Ghanaians is that we are more security conscious than safety, you cannot do one at the expense of the other, they must go hand in hand, for instance, we have had a number of burnt to death cases because people are locked up as a result of burglar proof”.

The Assistant Chief Fire Officer 1 (ACFO 1) Timothy Osafo Affum, Head of Public Relations for Ghana National Fire Service made the point when in an interview with Thelma Tackie on the GTV Breakfast Show.

The Fire Officer spoke on issues of fire incidents and the safety and care for fire Officers who put their lives at risk on a daily basis.

He explained that with people trapped inside during fires as a result of burglar proofs, sometimes robbers take valuables and leave, but the raging fire consumes everything, for lack of a proper exit.

ACFO One Timothy Osafo Affum called on Ghanaians to prioritize their safety just as much as security and restructure their homes such that there are escape routes in case of a fire incident.

He said there is a new law on using warning alarms or fire devices so that if there is a fire one is alerted to escape to safety and that the new amended law to be soon implemented contains a clause that states that GNFS should supply homes with safety devices and provide training of how to use it.

It is however expensive to provide these but Parliament is working to ensure that depending on the status of inhabitants or the location the fee will be proportioned in order for everyone to be able to afford these safety devices.

On Market fires, Divisional Officer 1 DO1, Joseph Kofi Forson, Acting Director of Operations said the market fires have reduced because of patrols at night by fire volunteers, ensuring electrical sockets are off, and dousing any naked flames.

The officers lamented the harassment some of their staff are exposed to during outbreaks, especially with regard to response time, and water supply issues in dousing the fire.

The challenges of lack of safety gear sealed fire hydrants, and lack of special health care facilities to cater to wounded Officers, among others, are some of the concerns the Fire Team wants the authorities to pay critical attention to as soon as possible.

Below is the full interview;

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