Tuesday’s edition of the Super Morning Show focused on fire safety.
The Director of Public Relations at the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), AFCO Timothy Osafo-Affum sensitised listeners on some basic requirements to ensure fire safety, especially in the office and at home.
One of the requirements he mentioned is that every organisation must have enough exit points.
“This is calculated based on the number of people that are supposed to occupy the premises. In our homes for instance, every room must have two exit points. So that in case of an emergency and one exit is blocked, you can have access to through the other.
“Most of the time, the second exit is the window but you see us burglar proofing all our windows including our doors, and when there’s an emergency we find ourselves wanting. So I’ll advise that if you’re burglar proofing your house balance that with your safety,” he said.
He advised that when burglar proofing one should opt for the collapsible type that has a key that can easily be opened and shifted,” he said.
Secondly, the law also requires that one puts in a detection and alarm system. A simple one is the smoke detection system which raises an alarm upon detecting smoke. “If you hear that in time, you’ll be able to exit the premises,” he said.
Also, another requirement is the provision of water. “Normally, due to water challenges and water supply, we ask that you find a reservoir. Within the industries, we ask them to attach a powerful pump to it in order to get the quantity of water required,” he said.
The other one is to provide a place of assembly. This is a place of convergence for all and it’s also required to ensure that no one is trapped in the building.
“After you exit successfully from the area where the incident is happening, you can have a headcount to see that all persons are accounted for. If not, you must alert the fire officers that this person or group of people are not at the assembly point,” he said.
On his part, the National President for the Ghana Institute of Safety and Environmental Professionals (GHISEP) entreated all institutions to either replace or service their fire extinguishers at least once in a year.
He explained that this is to prevent the metallic container from corroding and the substance in the extinguisher from degenerating.
“The fire extinguisher is metallic. It corrodes especially when you place it on the floor. With time the substance cakes and this can lead to it not being responsive during an emergency situation,” he said.
He also warned against overloading sockets, especially in the office since it can easily spark a fire.
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