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Introductory Text

IN exercise of the powers conferred on the Minister responsible for the Interior under section 28(2) of the Ghana National Fire Service Act. 1997 (Act 537). on the advice of the Council and in consultation with the Minister responsible for Works and Housing for the purposes of section 28(1) of Act 537 these Regulations are made this 10th day of February, 2003.
Regulation 1 – Premises for which fire certificates are required

(1) Unless exempted by these Regulations, 1 fire certificate shall be required for premises put to any of the following uses:

(a) public residential accommodation

(b) for the purpose of entertainment, recreation. or as a club;

(c) as a place of work;

(d) as an institution providing health treatment or care for infants, disabled or aged persons;

(e) for the purpose of teaching. training or research; and

(f) for a purpose which involves access to the premises by members of the public. whether on payment or not. ‘

(2) The fire certificate shall be issued by the Chief Fire Officer.

Regulation 2 – Owner or occupier to apply for fire certificate

(1) An owner or occupier of premises within a category specified in regulation 1 shall within twelve months after the entry into force of these Regulations apply to the Chief Fire Officer for a fire certificate.

(2) Subject to regulation 3, no owner or occupier shall use any premises for the purposes specified in regulation 1 unless the owner or occupier is in possession

(3) A fire certificate shall be valid tor twelve months Item the date or issue and is subject to renewal for a fee provided in Schedule 4.

Regulation 3 – Exemption

The Chief Fire Officer may with the approval of the Minister and by notice published in the Gazette exempt such premises as the Council may approve from the requirements of a fire certificate.

Regulation 4 – Application for fire certificate

(1) An application for a fire certificate required under Regulation 1.

(a) in respect of existing premises shall be submitted with the building plans of the premises where available and a completed form A provided in Schedule 1 of these Regulations;

(b) for a proposed structure shall be submitted with the building plans of the premises and a completed Form B provided in Schedule 1

(2) The application for a fire certificate shall

(a) state the particular use of the premises to be covered by the fire certificate; and

(b) give information concerning the premises or information about ancillary matters which may be required by the Chief Fire Officer.

Regulation 5 – Issue of fire certificate

(1) Upon the submission of an application under regulation 4. the Chief Fire Officer shall cause the premises or site to be inspected and the drawings submitted for review

(2) The drawings shall be reviewed for a fee provided in Schedule 4.

(3) If the inspection or the review reveals that

(a) there is a safe and effective means of escape;

(b) the fire fighting equipment on the premises is adequate; and

(c) the fire detection and warming system is satisfactory,

the Chief Fire Officer shall issue a fire certificate in respect of the premises on payment of the specified fee.

Regulation 6 – Inadequate fire safety measures

(1) The Chief Fire Officer may revoke a fire certificate if the fire precaution measures on the premises cease to conform to the requirements of these Regulations.

(2) Where the Chief Fire Officer is not satisfied with the adequacy of the fire precaution measures provided on the premises, the applicant shall be served with a notice in the form provided in Schedule 2.

(3) The Chief Fire Officer shall revoke the fire certificate if the owner or occupier fails to comply with the notice within the time specified in the notice.

Regulation 7 – Content of the fire certificate

(1) A fire certificate shall be as in Form C provided in Schedule 3 of these Regulations and shall state

(a) the particular use of the premises to which the fire certificate relates;

(b) the means of escape provided for the premises;

(c) the means other than that for fighting fire provided for the premises to ensure that the means of escape can safely and effectively be used at all material times;

(d) whether or not the fire hydrants or other sources of water supply for the premises are adequate;

(e) the type, number and location of fire warning means for persons on the premises; and

(f) the type, number and location of fire fighting means on the premises.

(2) The Chief Fire Officer may in exceptional circumstances for stated reasons waive any of the requirements in paragraph (c), (d) and (e) of sub-regulation (1).

(3) The fire certificate shall be kept on the premises and be conspicuously displayed by the occupant.

(4) The fire certificate shall be made available for inspection under these Regulations.

Regulation 8 – Power to inspect premises

(1) A fire inspector authorized by the Chief Fire Officer may at a reasonable time enter any premises subject to these Regulations

(a) to inspect a fire certificate;

(b) to ensure that means of escape provided in the premises are properly maintained and kept free from obstruction;

(c) to ensure that fire fighting means are properly maintained;

(d) to ensure that persons employed to work on the premises have received adequate instruction or training on what to do in case of fire; and

(e) to ascertain the maximum number of people who can be on the premises at any one time.

(2) The fire inspector shall produce his or her identification to the occupant.

(3) The fire inspector may be accompanied by a police officer if there is reasonable cause to suspect wilful obstruction in the execution of the inspection.

(4) No fire inspector shall publish or disclose to any person information obtained in the course of inspection unless the information is required for the performance of duties under these Regulations or legal process or prosecution for an offence under these Regulations.

(5) A fire inspector who contravenes sub-regulation (4) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both and may in addition be dismissed from office.

Regulation 9 – Obstruction of fire inspector

(1) A person shall not under these Regulations

(a) wilfully obstruct or delay a fire inspector;

(b) fail to comply with any requirement imposed by a fire inspector without reasonable excuse;

(c) fail without reasonable excuse to produce any document which is required by or in pursuance of these Regulations;

(d) wilfully withhold any information about ownership or occupation of premises; or

(e) conceal or prevent a person from appearing before a fire inspector.

(2) A person who contravenes sub-regulation (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both. 

Regulation 10 – Adequacy of means of escape

To determine the adequacy of means of escape from fire, the Chief Fire Officer shall take into account

(a) the number of persons expected to be working or living on the premises;

b) the number of persons who may be expected to be within the premises at any time;

(c) the height of the building

(d) the running distance to safety in case of fire;

(e) the location of anything on the premises which may constitute an obstruction to access to safety for a person within the premises;

(f) the adequacy of the markings on the emergency exits to make the markings distinct and conspicuous;

(g) the size and suitability of doors on the premises to facilitate evacuation with ease; and

(h) any other matter considered relevant to assess means of escape from fire.

Regulation 11 – Fire alarm

(1) Every owner or occupier of premises referred to in regulation 1 shall install on the premises a fire alarm or other effective warning device approved by the Chief Fire Officer.

(2) Each fire alarm shall be clearly audible throughout the building in which it is installed and shall be tested and examined at least once every six months or as frequently as may be required by the Chief Fire Officer.

(3) The owner or occupier of premises shall keep a service tag for each fire alarm, which shall be produced for inspection on demand by the Chief Fire Officer.

(4) The service tag attached to each tested fire alarm shall be kept for the inspection of the Chief Fire Officer.

(5) The service tag shall indicate

(a) the date and particulars of each defect found on the tire alarm; and

(b) the date and particulars of action taken to remedy the defect.

Regulation 12 – Fire fighting equipment

(1) Each fire extinguisher or other fire fighting equipment required under these Regulations shall be tested and examined by the Chief Fire Officer at an interval of six months.

(2) The owner or occupier of premises shall keep a service tag for each fire extinguisher which shall be produced for inspection on demand by the Chief Fire Officer.

(3) The service tag shall indicate

(a) the date of each test and examination;

(b) particulars of each defect found; and

(c) the date and particulars of action taken to remedy the defect.

Regulation 13 – Submission of complaint to District Fire Service Committee

A person who is aggrieved

(a) by the refusal of the Chief Fire Officer to issue a fire certificate' in respect of any premises;

(b) by the inclusion of anything in or the omission of anything from a fire certificate; or

(c) by the revocation of a fire certificate, may submit a complaint to the relevant District Fire Service Committee established under section l5 of the Act within twenty-one days from the date the decision in writing is made known.

Regulation 14 – Owner, occupier to obtain approval

An owner or occupier of premises referred to in regulation 1 who proposes to

(a) make an extension or major structural alteration to the premises;

(b) make an alteration to the internal arrangement of the premises;

(c) make a change in the equipment on the premises; or

(d) keep explosives or highly flammable materials on the premises that will change the character or the use of the premises for which the fire certificate was issued shall give notice of the proposal and obtain approval from the Chief Fire Officer before the proposal is affected.

Regulation 15 – Prohibited use of premises

The Chief Fire Officer may prohibit or restrict the use of premises if the fire risk to persons on the premises is high until the necessary steps have been taken to reduce the fire risk to a level acceptable to the Chief Fire Officer.

Regulation 16 – Diversion and roadblock

(1) A person who or organization which intends to divert or block a street for any purpose shall notify the Chief Fire Officer or his representative in the respective administrative area at least twenty-four hours before the diversion or road block.

(2) The most senior member of the Service present at the scene of a fire may close a street to traffic or regulate the traffic where it is necessary to do so because of the fire.

Regulation 17 – Manufacturers to submit samples

(1) Every manufacturer, importer or dealer in fire protection product or equipment shall submit a sample. specimen and performance specification to the Fire Service Technical Advisory Committee established under section 1 l of the Act for approval and certification before the product or equipment is put on the market.

(2) Where the product or equipment does not meet the required standard and it is put on the market, the Fire Service Technical Advisory Committee shall advise the Minister on the withdrawal of the product or equipment from the market and the Minister may by publication in the news media so order or make another order that may be reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

Regulation 18 – Classification and registration of fire protection service contractors

(1) The Ministry for the Interior shall issue guidelines for the classification and registration of fire protection service contractors by publication in the Gazette.

(2) The Minister shall cause a register of persons, firms and companies that provide fire protection services to be kept.

Regulation 19 – Code of practice

(1) The Ghana National Fire Service Council shall enforce the code of practice on means of escape, fire fighting and fire warning systems determined by the Fire Service Council.

Regulation 20 – Offences

(1) A person who or organization which

(a) knowingly gives or causes a false fire alarm to be given;

(b) blocks a street for any purpose without notifying the Chief Fire Officer or his representative in the respective administrative area: or

(c) fails to submit a product sample for approval under regulation 17 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

(2) Where a body of persons commits an offence under sub-regulation (1) any director, partner or officer of the body corporate whose act or omission resulted in the contravention of sub-regulation (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty provided in respect of that contravention.

(3) No person shall be deemed to be guilty of an offence under sub-regulation (1) if it is proven that the offence was committed without that persons consent or connivance or that person exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence having regard to all the circumstances.

(4) A person who fails to obtain a fire certificate for premises listed under regulation 1 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both and for each day of further default, to a fine of 25 penalty units.

(5) Where a person

(a) forges a fire certificate or has possession of a document closely resembling a fire certificate with intent to deceive;

(b) makes a false statement or gives false information deliberately to procure a fire certificate; or

(c) gives false information or recklessly gives information while under a duty to provide that information under these Regulations,

that person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both

(6) A person who or organization, which contravenes a provision of these Regulations for which no penalty is specified, is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

Regulation 21 – Interpretation

In these Regulations unless the context otherwise requires

“Act” means the Ghana National Fire Service Act, 1997 (Act 537);

“building “includes a temporary or movable building or a permanent structure and any temporary structure;

“building plan” means Architectural, Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Fire Engineering Drawings etc;

“Chief Fire Officer” means the Chief Fire Officer or his duly authorized representative;

“Council” means the Ghana National Fire Service Council provided for under section 5 of Act 537;

“factory” means factory within the meaning of section 83 of the factories. offices and shops, Act 1970, Act 328 of 1970 and other premises referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (1) of that section;

“fine” means pecuniary penalty to which a person may be liable for breach of any provision of these Regulations

“fire inspector” means a person so designated, appointed or authorized by the Chief Fire Officer in writing;

“fire alarm” includes any other effective warning device;

“fire certificate” means a certificate issued by the Chief Fire Officer certifying the adequacy of fire precaution measures in particular premises;

“fire extinguisher” includes other fire fighting means;

“institutions" means premises providing sleeping accommodation for particular categories of people for example, Hospitals. Nursing Homes, Probation Homes. Remand Homes. Community Home and Nurseries and non-residential institutions for example: pre-natal and post-natal. clinics. child welfare clinics, mental health clinics and day care nurseries;

“office" means any room of a building of which the substantial use is for cybercafé, computer training, clerical work including book keeping, filing, typing, duplicating machine, calculating, drawing, and editorial preparation of matter for publication in print, the sorting and carrying of papers, telephone operating, and the handling of money, except any rooms in premises of which the substantial use is a private residence or for private domestic purposes, and includes establishments, institutions and administrative services in which the workers are mainly engaged in office work;

“owner” includes a person responsible for the administration or management of the premises;

“place of public entertainment and recreation" means places where people resort, whether as members of the public, members of a club or otherwise: for example, theatres, cinemas, public boxing and wrestling halls, conference halls, dance halls, exhibition halls, galleries, museums, public libraries, enclosed public swimming pools, billiard halls, enclosed premises at 2005, clubs, bingo halls, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, piers, football stands and indoor sports centres;

“place of instruction (teaching or training)” means schools, universities, and colleges including laboratories and workshops as well as lecture rooms and classrooms, drama schools, and dancing tuition centres;

“places other than building” means moored and beached craft and booths, circus and similar movable structures if used for a purpose caught by the Regulations;

“place of work” means premises used as factory, shop, office and storage.

“premises” means building or part of a building;

“public residential accommodation” means premises providing sleeping accommodation for temporary or permanent residents: for example: hotels. motels. inns, residential clubs, hostels (including nurses’ homes etc), boarding houses, lodging houses, holiday camps. boarding schools and living accommodation in colleges and universities;

“service" means the Ghana National Fire Service;

“shop” means:

(a) A building or part of a building of which the substantial use is the carrying on there of retail trade or business (including the sale to members of the public of food or drink for immediate consumption, retail sales by auction and the business of lending books or periodicals for purposes of gain);

(b) a building or part of a building occupied by a wholesale dealer or merchant where goods are kept for wholesale distribution or sale;

(c) a building or part of a building to which members of the public are invited to resort for the purpose of delivering goods for repair, renovation, cleaning or delivering goods for repair, renovation, cleaning or other treatment, or of themselves there carrying out repairs, renovation, cleaning or other treatment of goods.

“service tag” means a tag or logbook; “Minister” means the Minister responsible for the Interior;

“Technical Committee” means the Fire Service Technical Advisory Committee established under the Ghana National Fire Service Act, 1997 (Act 537).