Photo: Left to right, Lesroy Caines, fire sub station officer and coordinator of the annual Summer Safety Programme; Abdias Samuel, deputy fire chief; Garfield Hodge, fire station officer
Citizens encouraged to install fire prevention devices in homes, businesses
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Fire Station Officer Garfield Hodge and other officers of the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS), encouraged residents and citizens on an episode of “Working for You” July to protect homes and businesses with fire safety devices.
“We encourage everybody to get life saving devices,” said Hodge, as he mentioned that every house should have at least a fire extinguisher and smoke detector as means of fire prevention. He also cited that it is mandatory for business places to abide by proper fire codes and safety practices and that further legislation is being worked on for fire prevention.
“A fire incident is not isolated; it can happen to you,” stated Hodge as he appealed to the general public to take fire prevention and safety education seriously.
Deputy Fire Chief Abdias Samuel added his support for getting life-saving devices as he spoke about the cost for various devices that can save citizens a great deal of money. He mentioned that the cost for a fire extinguisher is about EC$365 and a smoke detector about US$20. “A simple extinguisher could save you from more than $400,000 or $4 million dollars in damages,” he said.
In speaking of fire safety, Samuel commended the St. Kitts Park Hyatt for its stellar safety practices.
“I have not seen one business place that has so many fire-related prevention systems integrated into their buildings,” he stated. He also indicated that the fire and rescue service works in collaboration with other local businesses such as the Labour Department, insurance companies and the Department of Planning to ensure fire safety mechanisms are in place.
“Fire prevention is our greatest mandate,” said Samuel as he explained that the majority of work that the department focuses on is centred on fire prevention. He added that educating the public on safety standards and fire prevention tools is necessary and a main task for the fire and rescue services. “The best way for you to help yourself is to install fire detection mechanisms,” he said.