Assessment of domestic fire management in Kumasi Metropolis

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Domestic fires is the highest incidence of fire outbreak in Kumasi (GNFS, 2013). In an attempt to address the alarming rate of fire outbreaks in Ghana, the Fire Precaution (Premises) Regulation (2003) LI 1724 was passed to enable Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to carry out inspection of proposed and existing premises, review building plan regarding fire safety and issuance of fire certificate. However, the law is enforced only on public buildings like hotels, schools, commercial buildings etc. to the neglect of private domestic residential buildings. This has led to increasing rate of fire outbreaks in Kumasi Metropolis leading to loss of life and property. As a result, the study sought to assess the management of domestic fires in Kumasi Metropolis. This was achieved through determination of the level of fire safety knowledge and residents’ level of compliance with fire safety regulations; evaluate the roles played by the relevant institutions in the management of domestic fires and examine the problems militating against effective management of domestic fires in the Kumasi Metropolis. Using four purposively selected fire prone areas in Kumasi, a cross-sectional research design was adopted for the study. Both purposive and systematic sampling techniques were used for the study. Primary data obtained from the field were analysed using quantitative tool like tables, cross tabulation, pie chart as well as qualitative techniques. The study revealed that compliance with and knowledge on fire safety measures are low. The mean compliance of the house owners in the study communities was approximately two (2) meaning that each house owner is likely to comply with two fire safety measures. Poor house address system leads to inaccurate directions hindering prompt response by fire management institutions to fire emergencies. It is recommended that, Fire Precaution (Premises) regulation of Ghana, 2003 (LI 1724) on residential buildings should be implemented immediately to compel house owners to integrate issues in physical development.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of Master of Science Development Planning and Management.