Over the last eight years, Barbados saw a notable 22 people dying in house fires, with four of these deaths occurring this year.

In light of this, acting Chief Fire Officer, Anthony Blackman, has appealed to the Barbadian population to install smoke detectors and adhere to fire safety information.

The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) is leading by example, having so far installed 150 smoke detectors across the island, largely in the homes of the disabled and the elderly, at a cost of some Bds $8,000. Half of this was contributed by several churches and Cooperators General Insurance Company Ltd., which presented the Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit with smoke detectors last Monday.

Today, fire officers of the unit distributed them to households in the Britton’s Hill and Garrison area, as the BFS  ended Fire Prevention Week but left the theme Smoke Detectors Save Lives ringing in the ears of Barbadians.

During the first stop at Burke’s Land in Britton’s Hill, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Freundel Stuart, who is also the parliamentary representative for the area, assisted in the smoke detector installation at a household.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Stuart lauded the insurance company for supporting the programme and exhorted the rest of Corporate Barbados to do likewise, since this fire safety drive is islandwide and calls for smoke detectors, not only at the houses of the physically-challenged and the elderly but also at special schools, institutions and private homes.

Echoing the Fire Service’s concern over the rise in both house fires and resulting deaths, the insurance company is also disturbed about the number of uninsured houses destroyed by fire, especially when protection is available and at affordable rates. (TA)

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