Call to protect elderly as house fires lead to loss of lives

Barbados’ Chief Fire Officer is making an urgent call to Barbadians to be more protective of the elderly, as the country deals with a number of fires that have led to loss of life.

Errol Maynard is pleading with people not to leave the elderly at home unattended, and to be more vigilant, as the Barbados Fire Service grapples with a concerning increase in house fires for the year to date.

“I am deeply concerned about the number of house fires the fire department has witnessed for the year to date, and I am concerned about the elderly,” the fire chief said.

Statistics showed that for the period January 1 to May 13 this year, there were 33 house fires, compared to 22 for the corresponding period last year.

In total, the Barbados Fire Service responded to an overall 826 fire calls between January 1 and May 13, compared with 569 for the corresponding period last year. Maynard added that compared to the last five years, the figure was significantly high.

In addition to investing in fire extinguishers, the fire chief mapped out various strategies Barbadians can employ to help decrease the rising number of fires.

“We want the public to be more careful and to pay more attention to the elderly folk and family members who may be sick, but still have to fend for themselves. These elderly folk should not be left alone to cook for themselves or be left alone in places where they are burning candles, or lamps,” he emphasised.(CH)

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