The Ghana National Fire Service is currently incapable of dealing with fires in high-rise buildings.
The modern equipment of the service cannot fight fires beyond five floors of any building. This means any building beyond five floors cannot be saved should it catch fire.
This is frightening, considering the current increase in high-rise buildings in Ghana.
Following the recent fire that gutted the Grenfell Tower in London, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Divisional Officer Prince Billy Anaglatey, noted that should fire engulf any high rise building, the fire service may not be able to save the situation.
Speaking to citifmonline.com over the weekend, Billy Anaglatey explained that, even though their counterparts in London had all the sophisticated gadgets used in controlling fire, they still had problems fighting the fire for days.
“Unfortunately, with the high rise buildings that we have in Ghana now, some are as high as 20 floors and above, but the turntable ladder that the fire service has can take up to only the fifth floor, so what of the floors after the fifth floor?” he quizzed. He was of the view that “so you can agree with me that it will be more difficult for the Ghana National Fire Service to fight such fire since we do not have all the necessary tools used in fighting fire.”
According to Billy Anaglatey, there are several facilities that need to be installed in high rise buildings to assist fire fighting and rescue in case of any emergency.
“…So if those high rise buildings do not have the facilities that will assist the fire fighters to get to floors above the fifth floor, then I think we are in trouble. We are in trouble in the sense that, when we are able to get to the fifth floor we can only manage with our skills and expertise to get to the floors above that. This approach is not enough considering that life and property will be at risk.
That is why the fire service has and will always continue to call on owners of such buildings to make sure they meet all the set standards. As an institution we would appreciate it if the owners of high rise buildings will strictly adhere to our fire safety regulations”.
He stated that, the fire service needs to be well-resourced to enable it protect life and property during emergencies.