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Fire plans coming for businesses – Fire Chief

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Officer in Charge of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Fire Brigade, Assistant Superintendent of Police Isaiah Browne, said that his department is currently working on fire plans for a number of businesses in Kingstown.{{more}}

ASP Browne said that these plans, along with measures taken by the business owners themselves, can greatly reduce damage to property or loss of life in the event of a fire, like the one which took place last Saturday, September 18 2010.

“We are trying to put a programme in place for all business places, where persons in a building should know what to do in the event of a fire. The fire plan is simple instructions that would help.”

Browne reiterated statements made two weeks ago in the weekend edition of Searchlight, where he implored business owners to keep the main entrance and exit, which is usually the same door, completely clear.

He said that if these doors are blocked, there is likely to be a problem when there is an emergency.

“If you notice still, they have mattresses, they have shoe boxes and chairs in front of the only entrance. If there is an emergency, there will be chaos. The least they can do is keep the entrance clear. Saturday was one of these examples.”

The ASP also recommended that business owners safeguard their property with fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, which would complement a fire plan.

Some key aspects of a fire plan include ensuring that emergency exits are marked and unobstructed and that persons in the building be made aware of where the main switch is located.

“When you discover a fire in the building, use the best means available to report the fire immediately and or sound the alarm,” Browne added.

“Attempt to prevent the further spread of the fire. Based on the class of the fire, use the most effective extinguishing agent available to attempt to extinguish the fire.”

Browne noted that if it is not possible to extinguish the fire, the next step is to evacuate the building.

He said that a safe place of assembly is to be determined beforehand, and that a head count should be done to ascertain that everyone made it from the building safely.

According to the plan, persons should be delegated prior to a fire to determine who would have which responsibility.

Browne said that each fire plan would be made to suit the building or business, and called on proprietors to cooperate with them in having these safety measures in place.

Browne also noted that these plans can be put in place for homes as well.(JJ)

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