Fire Brigade urge citizens to immediately report fires

Raging fire. Picture courtesy of Pixabay

The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is reminding the public to call the nearest fire station or 110 the moment a fire starts. This reminder comes as the JFB observes Fire and Life Safety Awareness Week from October 23 to 29, under the theme ‘Preserving the Nation through Life Safety and Fire Prevention’.

According to media reports, Senior Deputy Superintendent and Public Relations Officer of the JFB Emeleo Ebanks said the length of time that it takes to call the Jamaica Fire Brigade impacts the kind of response that is provided. “So, what we need of you, the general public, is that once there is a fire, call us immediately. Secondly, evacuate, and once you get out of the building, stay out,” advised Ebanks.

Senior Deputy Superintendent Ebanks also shared tips on evacuating a building, particularly if the power is out and or the fire occurs at night. “If there is smoke in the room, get low on all fours and head to a wall. Walls will lead to doors. When you get to a door, you want to test the door handle with the back of your hand. Once you open that door, continue to evacuate yourselves,” he urged.

Ebanks said it is important to have trained fire wardens in the home, workplaces and schools, as they will be aware of exits and evacuation routes and will lead persons outside to assembly areas.

While highlighting the importance of knowing what to do in the event of a fire, Ebanks added that taking steps to prevent fires is equally important. “Regularise your electricity supply. If you’ve had your house wired over five years ago and passed by the governing body, what you need to be doing now is looking to have a licensed electrician come in and do a general check. We ask that you put fire alarm systems, extinguishers and detectors in all the rooms. In the kitchen, we suggest you put up a heat detector,” he shared. “We cannot overemphasise – never, ever leave cooking unattended. We have to remind persons don’t ever cook if you are feeling tired or if you are intoxicated. Again, I want to remind every single Jamaican – no child under 12 [years old] should be operating the stove”, Ebanks warned.

The JFB is encouraging the public to visit fire stations and become familiar with the operations of the Brigade. They are also encouraged to have the telephone numbers of their local fire stations stored as emergency contacts.

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