Nov 15, 2008 News
Over the past few weeks, several homes have been destroyed by fire, and according to Fire Chief Lawrence David, many of the fires were caused by carelessness.
According to statistics from the Guyana Fire Service for the period of November 1 to November 12, the fire service responded to 70 actual fires.
The number represented 16 homes, 40 rubbish fires and 12 electrical fires. The fire department also responded to 13 false alarms.
In a statement, the Fire Chief said that it was unfortunate that most of the house fires occurred at locations with a minimum response time of between seven and 20 minutes, due to the travel distance.
It was highlighted that this time does not include that which would have already elapsed between the start of the fire and when the call is received by the fire service. As a result, upon arrival at these fire scenes, the buildings would have already been destroyed by fire.
According to the statement from the Guyana Fire Service, in the cases of the building fires, investigations have revealed that several of those were either maliciously set, or were due to carelessness, such as lighted candles and electric irons plugged into power sources and left unattended.
The heat or flames from the unattended fire sources would ignite nearby combustibles, resulting in a fire.
With regards to the high number of rubbish/grass fires, it must be noted that the coastal areas are experiencing a dry period.
The fire department is therefore advising the public that the lighting of rubbish or dry grass for the purpose of disposal must be properly supervised to avoid uncontrollable fire spread.
Further, persons engaged in such acts have a responsibility to ensure that these deliberately set fires are properly extinguished after use.
The Guyana Fire Service is further calling on adults to demonstrate more caution, and not to have matches, lighters and other incendiary devices available to children, especially when they are unsupervised.
Persons are also advised to be careful when using flambeaux, lanterns and lighted candles during power outages.
These are potentially dangerous and have resulted in the destruction of several properties, the fire service said.
The department is also advising that homes be equipped with ‘first aid’ firefighting equipment, such as a portable fire extinguisher or containers with water, which can be used to extinguish a small fire. These are extremely useful, since most fires start small.
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