As Saint Lucia observes fire prevention week under the theme – ‘Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape’, the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) has revealed that most residential fires on the Island occur in low-income homes.
“The majority of the fires that the fire department responds to emanate in homes, and interestingly, it’s low-income homes,” Assistant Divisional Officer Mabius Francis disclosed in a Government Information Service (GIS) interview.
“Our statistics indicate that approximately one hundred and ten or so fires happen in homes, and again, I am saying, it’s in low-income homes – very poor people becoming even poorer,” Francis stated.
“It behoves us to do something to alleviate that kind of stress on people,” the senior SLFS official observed.
He indicated that three or more individuals might occupy a typical home.
Francis explained that, at times, the fire department responds to fires in homes occupied by seven individuals.
“Could you imagine the ache it can create, the distress when you go to such a fire and you leave seven persons standing there with just their clothes on their back? ” He said.
“Everything is destroyed. Everything is gone,” Francis declared.
And he noted it’s a serious social issue for Saint Lucia.
Fire Prevention Week officially started on October 9.
But from October 3, the fire department has been reaching out through the media to residents of Saint Lucia with fire prevention information in Kweyol and English.
Francis said low-income households are the primary target of the SLFS outreach.
Headline photo: Mabius Francis