The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has partnered with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to establish an advanced state-of-the-art forensic audit department to help the service.
Mr Michael Kofi Andoh, the Acting Chairman of the National Insurance Commission, made this known during the launch of the Fire Service Educational Campaign 2023 held at the national headquarters of the GNFS in Accra. He explained that the partnership aims to empower the fire service to conduct thorough forensic investigations into the causes of fires throughout the country.
The campaign, themed ‘60 Years of Existence: Fire Safety, the Choice for a Safer Environment, marked the initiation of a week-long series of events. The schedule for the campaign includes various activities, such as media engagements in all regions, quiz sessions and meetings with District Assembly and market leaders, an inspection of national installations, mini-conference simulation exercises, market education in all regions, meetings with operators of event centres, clubhouses, drinking spots, and nightclubs, and finally, fire safety education in churches on Sunday.
Mr Andoh highlighted that the establishment of the forensic audit department would enhance the GNFS’s capacity to investigate fire causes effectively, consequently reducing the delays often experienced in claims payments by insurance companies.
Mr Andoh emphasised that proper determination of the causes of fire outbreaks is pivotal to hastening claims processing by insurance companies. Acknowledging the delays in claims payments and the lack of precise information on fire causes, Mr Andoh asserted that the introduction of this department would substantially benefit the insurance industry. He emphasised the importance of this partnership in the commission’s future endeavours.
The Role of the Fire Service In Ensuring Building Safety
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education, addressed the role of the fire service in ensuring building safety for children. He assured that the Ministry, in its efforts to provide educational infrastructure nationwide, would ensure that building designs align with the fire safety standards set by the Ghana National Fire Service.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum also disclosed the ministry’s collaboration with the service to establish a basic school dedicated to imparting fire safety awareness and evacuation procedures to children during disasters.
Dr Adutwum called on the Chief Fire Officer to allocate the necessary land for the construction of the proposed basic school.
Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Julius A. Kuunor reflected on the significant impact of fires on businesses and property. He emphasised that consistent public education has contributed to reducing fire incidents across the country.
The CFO shared that this year’s record of fewer fire outbreaks was a result of heightened public education and awareness campaigns.
Meanwhile, crucial to the success of each of these initiatives have been those organisations working in harmony with the NIC towards a common goal. Over the years, the NIC has cultivated close relationships with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service. Each of these organisations are helping to uphold the NIC’s mission of increasing public confidence in insurance in diverse ways.
Indeed, these collaborations and others are not just crucial but also formidable pillars on which a solid insurance industry can be built.