AASoci  Vol.5 No.5 , May 2015
Review of Catastrophic Fires and Risk Communication, Ghana
ABSTRACT
Introduction: The incidence and prevalence of catastrophic fire outbreaks in Ghana appear to be very high. We wanted to review the data on the incidence and prevalence of catastrophic fires inall the administrative regions of Ghana in order to understand the situation better. It would also help to inform policy and interventions. Objective: We reviewed the statistics and other data of catastrophic fires in Ghana between 2004 and 2012. We identified the potential limitations for the existing national fire prevention system and provided suggestions for improvement. Method: We adopted the annual statistical data of the incidence of fire nationwide compiled by the National Fire Service “as is”. We relied on the Service’s field reports at the time of fire interventions and telephone and key informant interview to determine whether there was pre-event, event and post-event risk communication on the threat of fire within the affected sites. We also reviewed the National Emergency Master Plan, 1997; amended (2010) to assess whether it addressed fire emergencies. We conducted field visits to the Fire Service sub-stations within Accra City to assess the conditions on the ground. We also carried out documentary search on the internet to locate appropriate literature and summarized the findings into their respective units. Result: The result shows that catastrophic fire outbreak in Ghana occurred at least once a month at the cost of USD $16 m per year between 2004 and 2012. There is no coordinated fire risk communication and advocacy, which may have led to the low risk perception in the population affected. Discussion: The recurrence of industrial and domestic fires in Ghana suggests that the population may have low risk perception, which requires intensified public education on risk in general. Conclusion: Residents in Ghana are confronted with the existential threat of fires in all their walks of lives, which needs to be addressed. The incidence and prevalence of fire risk in Ghana should be of interests to all.

Cite this paper
Norman, I. , Awiah, B. , Aikins, M. and Binka, F. (2015) Review of Catastrophic Fires and Risk Communication, Ghana. Advances in Applied Sociology, 5, 167-177. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2015.55016.
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