Climate change – a focus for fire prevention week
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, October 13, 2017
The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) is placing its focus on the effects climate change is having on the environment as it formally observes Fire Prevention Week for the 43rd year. Hence, the theme for this year’s observance is “Embrace Fire Safety: Safeguard your environment to promote sustainable development.”
Fire Prevention Officer Andrew Holder explained that the theme was chosen, taking into consideration the recent natural disasters that plagued some Caribbean islands. Holder underscored that effects of climate change are universal and everyone has a role to play in safeguarding the environment.
“The message we want to send to the population is that for example when you light your small fires let’s say in your backyard, it sends toxic fumes into the atmosphere and that act damages the ozone layer which invites or make way for natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and tornados” he explained.
This year’s focus will revolve around the business community. He reported a decrease in the percentage of fires set by children, however, there has been a significant increase in fires started by adults.
According to Holder, the increase in the number of fires started by adults is often resorted to as a means of settling domestic disputes and cautioned homeowners and residents against such acts.
Additionally, as part of fire prevention week, the GFS has been conducting a number of unannounced fire drills at various government agencies. Holder stated that while some government agencies responded positively towards the exercise, others did not. The fire prevention officer emphasised that all government agencies and businesses must approach the evacuation exercise seriously.
“It does not necessarily have to be a fire, it could be a disaster of any other nature. It could be a bomb threat, it could be someone who decide to storm the building with a gun. Anything that happens at your place of work or even your home, you must have a way of taking yourself, your workers, your family to safety.”
Some of the other activities planned for fire prevention week which concludes on October 20, 2017, include educational lectures in schools and a man-in-the-street outreach that will see firemen and women interacting with the public to test their knowledge and disseminate information on fire prevention techniques.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite