The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service in the Western Region, Mr. A.D.O. Bonney has called on all gas users in the region, be it for commercial, industrial or domestic purposes, to adhere to the requisite safety measures governing its use.
This comes on the heels of the gas explosion on Saturday, October 7 which left 7 dead and several injured at a gas station around Atomic junction in Madina, a suburb of Accra.
Mr. Bonney noted that, considering the rate at which the explosions are occurring in the country, it is obvious that laid down safety regulations aren’t being complied with.
Mr. Bonney who was speaking during an interview with Akwasi Agyekum Gyimah, host of the Drive Time programme – Sunset Beach on Beach 105.5 FM in Takoradi, cautioned against the buying and selling of second-hand gas cylinders as they pose potential major risks to life and property.
“We don’t know the number of years the cylinders were used before being imported into the country, yet we see people buying them,” Mr. Bonney lamented.
Mr. Bonney went on to reveal that a gas cylinder should not be used for more 10 years.
Concerning the carrying out of safety audits by other regions in the country to make sure fuel stations and institutions are complying with the Ghana National Fire Service safety regulations, Mr. Bonney assured residents of the Western Region that safety audits in the region is well underway.
He added that, the Ghana National Fire Service has also started carrying out simulation exercises to facilitate education on the ‘dos and don’ts’ in case of a fire outbreak.
According to Mr. Bonney, with the Western Region being an oil enclave, “we need to be proactive in everything we do”.
Mr. Bonney revealed that the Ghana Fire Service in conjunction with the Ghana Police Service has also conducted training on how to handle the dangerous chemicals that come into the region.
He said the training was in order to aid the two agencies’ preparedness as first responders in times of emergencies involving fires.
Ghana has had eight major gas explosions in the space of three years, with Takoradi having its share on May 9, this year.
The explosions left 180 people with various degrees of burns when a gas tanker which was offloading gas into a reservoir exploded at the Ghana Household Utilities Manufacturing Company Limited.
~ Godwin Kpade