Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Install Protection System, Says Fire Officer

A SENIOR FIRE OFFICER wants businesses and home-owners to install water sprinklers and fire detectors.

Divisional Officer of the Barbados Fire Service Randolph Cox said the sprinklers would help bring a fire under control until a tender arrived.

He said fire detectors would also assist people in identifying the location of fires, which would assist officers in their response time.

"We are advocating active fire protection systems for business houses and homes," he stated.

He said it was a costly undertaking, and some people opted for hand appliances like fire extinguishers and buckets of water or sand.

Firemen were in the field last Saturday with workers from the Ministry of Transport and Works placing blue markers to identify fire hydrants in Nelson Street and its environs. It was the continuation of a programme which will see makers being placed ten feet away from hydrants throughout The City.

Cox told the media it took about ten minutes for a wooden structure to be destroyed or severely damaged by fire.

"We are aiming to reduce the number of fires, especially structural fires we're receiving nowadays.

The efforts of the fire prevention and the community relation departments has assisted in achieving a reduction in fires so far for the year," Cox said, adding that the easy detection of hydrants would assist in the Fire Service's efficiency and effectiveness.

He made an appeal to members of the public to desist from parking on or in close proximity to hydrants, because it could impact on their ability to connect to the water supply.

The hydrant-marking programme is being done with the assistance of United Insurance, which donated the markers.

Executive director David Alleyne said the company felt the security of property in Bridgetown was important, and wanted to assist the agencies in minimising the damage to property.

"It's not just the financial loss that is a problem, but it can alleviate suffering and the trauma which attends emergencies and fire loss throughout the country," Alleyne said.

The Fire Service is involved in a programme with another insurance company to provide fire detectors to home-owners. (YB)

Source: www.nationnews.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

A Dad is a personwho is loving and kind,
And often he knows what you have on your mind.
He's someone who listens,suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one of your very best friends! He's proud of your triumphs,but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient and helpful and strong In all that you do, a dad's love plays a part.

There's always a place for him deep in your heart.
And each year that passes, you're even more glad, More grateful and proud just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...for listening and caring, for giving and sharing, but, especially, for just being you!

Happy Father's Day

Thursday, June 4, 2009

50 Percent Reduction In Fires This Year

There has been a 50 per cent reduction in all types of fires from 2008 to 2009 for the period ending on June 3. This information was revealed by Sub Officer, Henderson Patrick of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) yesterday in an interview with the Barbados Advocate.

He stated that at this time last year there were 1211 fires overall, whereas there were about 1102 for the same period this year.

In terms of structural fires – private dwelling houses, they have had about four or five fires in the last couple of days in areas such as Mason Hall Street and Shorey Village and it appears as though “we are having a spike in structural fires. However, in the overall context of fires, we are actually down”.

Last year for this same period there were 55 structural fires and for this year they have responded to 41. As for sugar cane fires, there has been 67 fewer fires now than they had last year, “which is a significant reduction in that particular category,” said Patrick. Last year, there were 173 fires and this year there were 106 fires for the same time period.

Meanwhile, there has also been a 50 per cent reduction in grass fires. There were 1293 of these fires last year and they have had around 544 so far. He said that most of the grass fires are caused by the careless actions of people such as when people are burning in their backyard with no measure of control in place, such as a garden hose in case things get out of control and therefore when the wind blows, it takes the fire and deposits it in another area and then they cannot get that under control, said Patrick.

He attributes the decrease in fires to the work of the Fire Prevention Unit (FPU), who has conducted various fire prevention programmes, as well as the general public who are becoming more fire safety conscious as they are listening to what others have to say about keeping their properties safe as well as paying more attention to investing in their properties.

However, he stated that the “BFS does not want to rest on our laurels and say that we are gaining ground only to have it eroded by people becoming careless and people not following the simple instructions and principles that we have issued to them”.
Accordingly, Patrick advises persons to unplug all electrical items before they leave the house especially things like irons and to ensure that they have turned off the stove.

He adds that the kitchen is the “highest risk area in the house. It constantly has open flame. Sometimes people – because they can’t do better – store their liquid petroleum gas (LPG) bottle in the house. It has a variety of electrical items that people use inside of it”.

He advised persons to be careful when using these items by not having too many of them plugged in at the same time, especially if they in the same plug or circuit.

Source: www.barbadosadvocate.com

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fire Service: Public More Harmful Than Helpful

The Barbados Fire Service values the public's assistance in fighting fires but that help must come under the guidance of its officers.

Divisional Officer Randolph Cox said civilians were not allowed to take up and use any of the service's equipment.

"I can understand people's enthusiasm and that they want to assist but they have to do so under the guidance of the fire service," he said.

Cox was speaking to the Press last Friday at the scene of a fire in Mason Hall Street, The City, where one house was extensively damaged and three others slightly affected.


Fire officials reported they were hindered in doing their jobs by residents who were trying to help, although they also thanked the residents for removing some of the items from the houses.

Winston Callender and Charles Jackman were among the first people on the scene. They live nearby and made sure the gas bottles in the most severely damaged house was removed, as well as some items from the other houses, as they said they liked helping people.

They added that other people who came later tried to use a fire service hose which did not have a nozzle, but they could not control it.

Jackman is the uncle of Debrico Douglas, the ten-year-old boy who lost his life in April in a fire in New Orleans. (CA)

Source: www.nationnews.com

All Gone Up In Smoke

Jason Howard lost almost everything he owned in a few minutes yesterday.

The 28-year-old resident of Garden Land, Bank Hall, St Michael, said everything seemed fine when he left his rented home to buy some medicine for a cold but upon his return the house was engulfed in flames.

"I was sleeping then I got up to buy some multi-symptom because I wasn't feeling well, but by the time I came back I saw saw white smoke coming from my room at the back of the house," he said.

Howard said his brother-in-law whom he had left at home came through the door yelling for someone to call the fire department and the only thing they saved was a single bed before the three-bedroom, one-bathroom wall and timber house was destroyed.

Howard rented the house from Velsey Moore and lived with his sister Nefferti Howard, 30, and her three children: Davione Sealy, 12; Dominic Ash, nine, and Tyrese Layne, four, all of whom were at church when the fire started.

He said he did not know what they would do now as they had no place to go.

Parliamentary representative for St Michael West Michael Carrington, was on the scene and pledged to lend assistance to the family.

The fire also destroyed most of the equipment being stored in a small wrought iron
and fencing business located next door and owned by Christopher Montoute.

The heat of the fire was so intense it damaged another house across the road which was under repair for rental.

Three tenders, two from Probyn Street headquarters and one from Worthing station, and 11 fire officers, under the command of acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Eric Rice, responded to the 11:21 a.m. call. Investigations are continuing. (CA)

Source: www.nationnews.com