The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and the Fire Brigade Department are equally concerned over the alarming number of house fires of recent times, which have resulted in the loss of lives, and homes.
According to Stractcom release the Police and the Fire Brigade Department are of the opinion that many of these fires could have been prevented; especially if residents and business owners were to place more emphasis on “Fire Prevention & Fire Safety.”
According to the departments, there are homes and business places that are still being constructed, without any proper or strict adherence to the building codes. Fire Officers responding to fires are still confronted with buildings constructed with only one point of entry and exit.
Poor quality building materials, faulty electrical wiring, inferior appliances and equipment are among those labeled as contributing factors that cause some of these fires.
Another critical concern accoding to the release is that of “Fire Safety Drills,” or the lack thereof, inside many homes and business places. It is indicated that not enough efforts are being made by homeowners, businesses, schools and other institutions to incorporate regular fire drills into their weekly or monthly plans.
This practice will not only help to save lives, but also minimize the risks of injuries in the event of a fire. Another concern highlighted in the release which appears to be a growing trend among some homeowners, restaurants and cook shops; where 20lb propane gas cylinders are stored inside kitchen cupboards, or in close proximity of stoves and other open flames which has proven time after time to be a very dangerous practice.
In light of all this, the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda along with the Antigua and Barbuda Fire Brigade have provided a number of Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Tips to include Installing proper working Smoke Alarm Systems in your homes, Ensure that your electrical appliances are in good working condition, without loose or frayed cords or plugs and to Ensure that your outlets are not overloaded with plugs from the TV, computer, printer, video game system, and stereo, ect.
Residents are therefore urged to become more involved, and incorporate these Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Tips into their daily schedules, in order to minimize the devastating effects of fires on our communities.
The Commissioner of Police, Wendel Robinson also joined with the rest of the nation in expressing sincere condolences on behalf of the entire rank and file of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, to the families of those who lost loved ones tragically to fire.