Introspection, proactive measures needed to prevent fire – Min. Benn

As Fire Prevention Month commences, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn has emphasised the need for introspection and decisive action concerning fire prevention.

Minister Benn conveyed these sentiments while speaking with reporters on the sidelines of the 49th Fire Prevention Religious Service, at the Guyana Fire Service headquarters, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, on Sunday.

The minister stressed that the country cannot bear the physical and human losses caused by fires.

“More principally cause for thought has to be related to the great tragedy we had at Mahdia related to fire and perhaps the seeming unwillingness for our people to come on board in the great measure with respect to issues relating to the prevention of fire…That is why for this year alone, we have to have deep introspection and action in relation to the prevention of fire,” Minister Benn stated. 

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn

Minister Benn pointed out that in addition to enhancing the professionalism of the fire service, the utmost priority lies in preparation, ensuring there are smoke detectors and other fire prevention measures in place.

“We now have to be constantly vigilant at all levels of our society, particularly in schools and with the responsibility of parents in respect to the prevention of fire. This does not absolve the responsibility of the authorities, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Fire Service in respect of the issue,” Minister Benn said.

“One of the things which we have noticed is that there is an alarming increase in the malicious setting of fires. This is very worrying and this requires every village, every community, every street to be on the alert for persons who may be up to wickedness,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Fire, Gregory Wickham emphasised the importance of Fire Prevention Week, noting that major focus will be placed on enhancing public awareness and implementing proactive measures to ensure safety.

“We have lost too many lives this year already by fire and so the Guyana Fire Service has a plan that we have begun to roll out. That plan will be intensified during the fire prevention week to ensure that we reach the masses with the message of fire prevention and fire safety,” Wickham said.

Chief Fire Officer, Gregory Wickham

The Guyana Fire Service plans to conduct outreaches to markets, schools, and other public spaces, to spread the message of fire prevention. Fire Prevention Month will be observed under the theme: “For the Future of Our Nation, Practice Fire Safety and Prevention.”

Firemen in attendance at the religious service