The Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) has expressed concern over a spate of fires and has issued some prevention reminders to the public.
Station Officer at Fire Prevention Mabius Francis explained that the SLFS is especially concerned about house fires.
“There are many things we can do to avert unwanted fires. First of all we would say ‘Have a plan’ and by a plan there’s a simple thing we can have in place – RIPE, an acronym,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
“The ‘R’ stands for having a means for Raising the alarm and a smoke alarm is one of the things we can have at our home. They carry a nine-volt battery. We can install them within our homes and whenever smoke is produced it will alert us to that unwanted fire,” the SLFS official stated.
“The ‘I’ is for knowing whenever you discover an unwanted fire, you should Inform the fire service immediately. The ‘P’ stands for Protective and Preventative including using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire,” Francis said.
In this regard, he noted that most hardware stores sell the item which every home in Saint Lucia should have.
And he disclosed that the final letter in the RIPE acronym – ‘E’ pertains to having an Exit out of one’s home in the event of a fire.
Francis also advised that people should never leave food cooking on a stove while away from the flame or ask children to keep an eye on it, since youngsters can be distracted.
He declared that the food would likely burn in such a scenario, and the fire would get out of control.
“Cooking is one if the main reasons why we have a lot of unwanted fires – cooking left unattended and the other is electricity,” Francis observed.
He told St Lucia Times that a qualified individual should inspect a house’s electrical system every four or five years and check electrical outlets, especially if multiple devices connect to them.
Francis said it is good to have a qualified person check to ensure that the sockets do not become overloaded.
He observed that it would be best to connect one device to an outlet if a qualified person has not checked the load.