Gentle scolds businesses over non-compliance with fire safety

He said it was unfortunate that the significant expansion of Georgetown’s commercial sector in recent years was not being matched by a commensurate sensitivity to fire safety issues in the business community.

“I wouldn’t say that nothing is being done to address fire safety issues,” Gentle told Stabroek Business, “but it is clear that more can be done. Unfortunately, there are too many cases in which it appears that profit is put before safety.”

Gentle said that the available evidence suggested that there are “positives” and “negatives” in the evolution of the business community’s appreciation of the vulnerability of the city to fires.

“On the one hand we have seen the replacement of some of the old wooden buildings in the commercial capital with new, high-rise concrete structures,” he added. While there is evidence that some of those who are part of the new wave of construction are not following the building code, that is not so in every case. At the same time concrete structures help to protect against uncontrollable fires though some of the buildings themselves are vulnerable inside.

Fire Chief Marlon Gentle

The Fire Chief singled out the new Camp and Regent streets multi-storey complex housing United Investment Trading as an example of a recently constructed commercial complex that had “worked with the Fire Department and embraced its regulations. I would have to say that our inspections suggest that they were compliant with our recommendations. They certainly went the distance in terms of the installation of sprinklers, early alarms and fire-resistant materials in addition to which we noted the layout of the building as far as safety is concerned.”

Meanwhile, Gentle said the Fire Service continued to be concerned over the fact that the nature of the occupancy of several buildings in the commercial sector had changed over the years. “The fact is that we continue to have a situation in which small, old wooden buildings are now being used as stores and storehouses for what, in some cases, are large quantities of combustible material.”

He told Stabroek Business that the level of indifference to safety standards in some business places in the city had reached a point where in the event of a fire, firemen’s lives could be put at serious risk. “Sometimes, frankly, we assess situations and decide that they are simply too dangerous to risk our firemen’s lives,” Gentle said, adding that given the level of risk that obtained in some cases local firemen continued to demonstrate “courage of the highest order.”

And according to Gentle the Guyana Fire Service continues to have ongoing dialogue with the business community. A major engagement between the business community including both individual business houses and umbrella organisations and the Fire Service is scheduled to take place before year end.


T&T rejects coconut water shipment from Guyana

The refusal by the Trinidad and Tobago food safety authorities to allow a shipment of coconut water from Guyana to be sold there on the grounds that it does not meet the requisite safety standard could engage the two CARICOM countries at government-to-government level even as the Government Analyst & Food & Drug Department (GAFDD) insists that tests carried out on the product here have given the coconut water a clean bill of Health.

Small Business Bureau CEO says project’s original jobs target overly ambitious

Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau (SBB) Dr. Lowell Porter is backing the potential of the agency to give a significant boost to the growth of a vibrant small business culture in Guyana, its challenges and limitations, up to this time notwithstanding.

`Some people seem to want scrap metal trade to go away’ – Association Secretary

As the local scrap metal industry awaits the ‘green light’ from government to resume the trade, Secretary of the Metal Dealers Association, Michael Benjamin  has told Stabroek Business in an exclusive interview that the feeling had surfaced in sections of the industry that there were people who simply wanted the business to go away.

Managing sugar’s remaining socio-political challenges

  Some measure of practical relief would have been brought to the laid off sugar workers, victims of the meltdown of the once all-powerful sugar industry though it is clear that the travails of both the government and the hapless former GuySuCo employees and their families are far from at an end.

Small businesses to fully tap 20% gov’t `goods and services’ contracts by end of 1st quarter

The provision of the Small Business Act of 2004 allowing for the allocation of 20% of government contracts to small businesses will be fully implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2017 though a pilot initiative designed to test the initiative will be rolled out by month end, Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau, Dr.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now