fire certificate to help avoid fire disasters

One of the requirements for obtaining a building permit in Ghana for multi-storey properties is a fire permit. Specifically, a fire report and drawings of a three or above storey building must be certified by the Ghana National Fire Service and presented to the metropolitan assembly.  You should be well aware by now that undertaking the construction of a building without a permit can result in fines or the demolition of your building or the infamous stop work, produce permitgraffiti.

If you’re a developer,  landlord or a homeowner with a multi-storey structure (or one storey) and concerned about fire safety compliance, the steps below will guide you in acquiring a fire permit in Ghana.

Before we get into that, however, let’s explore why you need a fire certificate in the first place.

Why You Need a Fire Certificate

  1. Fire Certificates are mandated by law, specifically LI 1724, 2003 and it’s amended instrument, LI 2249, 2016. The Fire Precaution (Premises) Regulations, is a legislative instrument which makes it obligatory for certain premises to have fire certificates to meet fire safety standards.  This means that, under the regulations, owners of domestic or residential facilities are required to provide fire safety cover plans, failure of which would lead to prosecution and sanction.
  2. As previously stated, a fire certificate is one of the requirements to get a building permit in Ghana. It is especially so for multi-storey structures.
  3. It helps the Ghana National Fire Service with pertinent information that will come in handy in the event of a fire disaster on your property.
  4. To obtain a fire permit means your property will be evaluated for safety, fire or otherwise. This is a good way to get property owners up to speed on their disaster preparedness as well as to better help emergency services in the event of a disaster. With the numerous offices, houses and apartments for rent in Accra (the hotbed of real estate in Ghana) alone for instance, it is important property owners ensure the safety of tenants in every way possible. 

Steps to Obtain A Fire Certificate in Ghana

1. Request Inspection

The first step is to request an inspection from the Ghana National Fire Service. In doing so, you must submit the documents listed below along with proper dimensions for each document.

  1. Site Plan
  2. Block Plan
  3. Floor Plan

2. Project Inspection

The safety officer in charge of your region would inspect your structure, especially looking out for evacuation points in the case of an emergency.

3.  Present Fire Engineering drawings to the Fire Department.

After the project is inspected, you need to present the fire engineering drawings to the fire department for final review. 

4.  Apply for Fire Certificate/Permit from the Fire Department

Once everything checks out, the fire department will issue you a Fire Permit for use in the meantime while the certificate is worked on. The permit is to enable you to commence construction of your project. The Fire Permit takes between a month and three months for issuance. The Fire Certificate can take up to a year depending on the type of project.