The Fire Advisory Board and the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) have partnered to host a number of activities aimed at educating the public on simple ways to prevent and avoid fires.
In a press release, the FAB said this year the programme is being held under the theme ‘Practice fire safety for better and safer communities’. The programme, which will be held from Sunday to Thursday, includes a number of exhibitions at schools across the country and will conclude with a grand exhibition in front of Fogarty’s Supermarket.
In addition, the FAB said it has already submitted its report on fire prevention to the home affairs minister. Subsequent to this, the board said it had started to implement a few ideas contained in the report and had appointed a number of sub-committees to spearhead this effort. The legal sub-committee has been charged with reviewing the existing legislation governing the FAB and the GFS over the long term and, in the shorter term, it has been tasked with drafting new regulations for the smooth functioning of the existing Fire Prevention Act.
The Public Relations/Education/Training Sub-committee is expected to host fire prevention awareness sessions for the public. This group has already planned a number of activities, including a second fire prevention seminar for the business community set for November. The seminar is a joint activity by the FAB, the fire service and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and it is being sponsored by Hand in Hand Fire Insurance Company Limited. The committee has already planned an essay competition for youth and it will be introducing a fire prevention corner in the media. The board said other ideas are also being explored and they will be developed and rolled out in the coming months. The work of the other sub-committees, including the Building/Standards committee has not yet started.
According to the FAB, the Hinterland Fire Programme should be in place before year end. It also urges homeowners and business proprietors to utilise the GFS’s free inspection service and have their premises assessed for fire hazards and to take immediate steps to correct any deficiencies found. It recommends too that homeowners install and maintain smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in their homes. Also, extension cords should only be used as a temporary measure and should be complemented with the use of a surge protector. “Only use electricity from approved and legal sources and have these services installed by qualified professionals,” it added. The FAB also urges parents not to leave children unattended at home; to ensure all appliances and turned off and unplugged before leaving home and to use candles with caution.