Categorized | National News

Property Losses By Fire Down $28M

Property losses resulting from fires have decreased by a whopping 82 per cent, or $28 million, from 2011 to 2012 due to an increased level of fire protection, education, response, and detection.

Addressing the Fire Services Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s annual Fire
Safety Week Exhibition, Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell said property losses for 2012, were estimated at $5,166,550 compared to $28,189,040 for 2011.

“The statistics are indeed encouraging. Yet, no one can rejoice at the loss of even one life,” Mr. Bell said.

“The government, in protecting its citizenry, is mandated by law to provide a satisfactory level of fire protection, education, response, and detection, also, to cause any and all suitable persons to be taught the basic response to, and methods of, protection from any event of fire.”

The Fire Protection thrust comes in the form of budgetary provisions through the installation of proper water supply systems for firefighting purposes, Minister Bell said.

These include easily accessible hydrants, bore wells and excavated wells strategically placed throughout each community; properly working and equipped fire engines; and well trained, confident, committed men and women with a healthy understanding of these systems.

“The objective is to deliver timely and consistent response to incidents 24 hours every day, seven days a week,” Mr. Bell added.

Mr. Bell said statistics gathered by the Fire Services Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force further indicate that there has been a “notable reduction” in fire related deaths and injuries over the period January 2011 to August 2011 and the corresponding period for 2012.

He said there have been two fire-related deaths recorded in 2012, compared to 12 deaths for the same time period in 2011.

This year, 12 people were seriously injured as a result of fires, compared to 29 for the same period in 2011.

Minister Bell applauded members of the Police Fire Services Division for the “outstanding work they have done” in educating the public in fire safety techniques through a number of education and awareness campaigns.

“The populace is educated through effective programmes developed by the officers and members of the Police Fire Services. Daily, officers conduct a combination of fire safety inspections, educational seminars, and evacuation drill training,” Mr. Bell said.

“Age, employment status, religious or political persuasion and domicile conditions are no barriers to our efforts to arm all citizens with the knowledge and ability to implement effective safety plans, practices and procedures. We encourage people to be responsible in protecting their lives, homes, workplaces, and communities.”

Mr. Bell said the department’s efforts have not only been confined to New Providence.

“A system of training has been developed and is in place for the training of volunteer firefighters in our Family Island communities where Volunteer Fire Brigades are organised,” Mr. Bell said.

“Police officers and volunteers in Inagua were the most recent beneficiaries of this training in August 2012 and other islands will follow. No effort will be spared in reaching out to those communities, as we encourage them to come on board,” Mr. Bell said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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