Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard, outlining the danger of having a fan so close to clothing. (J. Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS)

The majority of businesses in Barbados are compliant with fire safety regulations, and are not being required to close for non-compliance.

This was revealed by Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard, who headed a team of fire officers conducting a walk-through of the businesses in Speightstown, St. Peter, today, as part of the activities to mark Fire Safety Week, under the theme The Sound of Fire Safety.

Mr. Maynard explained that the time granted by the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) to allow a business to correct an infraction, depended on the nature of the breach. For instance, he pointed out, in the case of a blocked exit, that was something that the BFS would request be dealt with immediately.

However, in the case of structural work, businesses could be given a minimum of two weeks to make things right, or they would be granted a longer time frame if significant work had to be done. “We have had cases where we had to put things in place and allow the person a whole year to get things right,” Mr. Maynard said.

He added that the Barbados Fire Service, traditionally, did not get any “major pushback” from business, and in cases when it did, it was usually a factor of the cost of the work to be done.

The Fire Chief, however, gave the undertaking that it was the department’s aim to work with businesses to ensure that they became compliant, or for those who were compliant, to reissue them with their certificates.

Making reference to the theme for the week of activities, Mr. Maynard said the department wanted to ensure that people got accustomed to the sound of fire safety, whether it was a siren or smoke detector.

During the visits, accompanied by his team, the Fire Chief raised concerns over the lack of smoke alarms or smoke detectors at some establishments in Speightstown, and the potential fire hazard that could arise from where fans were placed at some establishments.

In interacting with business owners, Mr. Maynard gave advice on how to improve the safety of their enterprises against the threat of fire.

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