Fire prevention hampered by weak laws

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The Fire Department says its bid to prevent fires is hampered by weak and insufficient laws.

Corporal Quincy George of the fire prevention unit told the Patrol Duty programme on Observer Radio last night that the fire department can do little about structures that are built without fire safety in mind.

“Lets say that you start a business and first it was a hotel and you change it to a restaurant, now the time fire protection system will have to be different than a hotel but we cannot go in and say that we are going to close you down unless you conform to these requirements because at this moment there is no legislation that actually governs these types of buildings in Antigua.”

George says in legislation currently being drafted will make it mandatory for smoke detectors in homes.

“We advocate every single day when it comes to that, you must have smoke detectors in your house. We spoke about enforcement earlier one of the things we will enforce when we have that legislation in place is that households must have working fire detectors in the house and inspections will be done to make sure that they are up to date because we care about you.”

George says new and improved fire laws will be a major benefit in firefighting.

“Its going to be beneficial towards the fire prevention unit, the fire brigade and to the Antigua and Barbuda economy because fire does a great amount of damage, it carries out your insurance rates because now insurance has to cover building that have been burnt and now you will have to pay more for that insurance. Businesses that were profitable will now not be in business anymore and persons working there would have lost their job due to that so it will be beneficial to all of us to have legislation dealing with these matters.”

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7 thoughts on “Fire prevention hampered by weak laws

  1. Until the fire dept is an entity by it self no matter how much prevention laws are drafted we will be getting the same result being a fire dept hinged to a police force just wont work they need a department review.

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  2. Smoke detectors are a great piece of equipment to save lives. They do not put out the fires. It is great that the politicians care about the people of Antigua, but this article is not addressing the issue and problem that Antigua is dealing with currently. The fire service is not adequately funded, no in depth training is provided and the equipment they have is out dated, and worse , not working! Hoses with holes in them, not a good thing last time I checked!

    I have organized my own organization to assist with the fire department and I am associated with another non profit organization in the U.S. that assists fire departments around the world and I have been assigned to coordinate a mission to antigua this November. However, we will not be able to complete our mission, which includes donated equipment and gear and training, because we cannot even get a timely response and the proper signatures to finalize this donation. This should be front and center to get completed, a simple task that addresses a serious problem, but yet no response from government officials . This is what the people of Antigua should be upset with.
    Weak laws, I say weak communication and weak action.

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    • Brian Abott, I will share your comment with someone I believe will make a difference, ie the PM

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      • Thank you. It amazes me and frustrates me that the individuals that I met with in may are not communicating in an effective and timely manner. It’s simple , I have gone the leg work , Antigua needs to let us in .

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  3. Time for the government to provide the proper legislation and resources to deal with these issues

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