How not to burn down your house

It was New Year’s Eve. Adjoa was busy in the shower dancing as the water splashed on her tired body.

She had been busy all day in the kitchen, preparing all the sauces and soup the family will need for the new year celebration.

It was all done. She felt worn out. The more the water splashed on her, the more relaxed she felt.

Her husband and the children were out shopping.

“I deserve to pamper myself before the ‘All Night’ church service, she told herself” and went out to the fridge for a chilled pineapple juice as she sat in the bathtub.

In no time, she dozed off.

Screams of fire!!! Fire!! Aunty Adjoa fire woke her up. She scrambled for a towel and run out of the bathroom.

She ran towards the kitchen. Thick smoke had taken over the kitchen. She choked and coughed rapidly as the smoke entered her lungs.

Rural let property fires: Risks, rules and prevention tips - Farmers Weekly

She passed out.

Adjoa woke up at the hospital.

It took the fire service to save her home but almost half the kitchen was gone.

Investigations later showed that she left a pot of meat on fire. She meant to fry it but forgot to put the stove off.

Fire is one of the most fearsome and deadly calamities that can strike a home. According to the Ghana National Fire Service domestic fires dominate the type of fires recorded daily in Ghana.

But don’t panic, instead, prepare.  Most home fires can be avoided simply by taking reasonable precautions and keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance tasks.

The harmattan is here again and fires become very rampant during this reason.  These are some safety tips for you to prevent fires during the yuletide and beyond.


Most kitchens contain several potential fire hazards, including appliances with faulty wiring, unattended pots and pans, and too hot cooking oil to name just a few. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of domestic fires, so it’s important to pay special attention to this high-risk space.

  • Always stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you are leaving the kitchen even for a brief moment, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Don’t prepare food if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Check your gas cylinders regularly and avoid putting stones on a loose cylinder head. Change the head when you sense a leakage.
  • Finally, always keep children away from active cooking areas.

To be continued…



The writer is a personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service with a passion for public education on potential risks of fire. 


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