Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fire Tips for the Holidays

In light of the fact that faulty wiring has been the cause of a number of fires as of late the National Fire Service is advising the Public to be more careful. Kenneth Mortis is the Training Officer at the National Fire Service.

Kenneth Mortis; Training Officer, National Fire Service
“For probably the past two months we have had structural fires throughout the country, especially Belize City; Caye Caulker. The fire department has investigated and concluded that these fires started as a result of mal practice, overload in electrical wiring so to speak. From the departments perspective we remain committed and we are trying our best to educate the general public about the negligent use in electrical wiring or overload in the electrical outlet and supplies. It is a known fact that electrical equipment in your house can be sustained from a certain grade if you choose to use an extension cord. We do not recommend the non-heavy extension cord especially to suffice current to an eight cubic foot or eight cubic watt refrigerator our other heavy duty washer dryer type. Those particular devices or machines have specific grade in extension cords that you would like to use. The normal or regular type cord can be used. Those would be primarily used for the fans and some of the small electrical decorations especially for the coming Christmas holiday.”

Mortis says that although there is the decrease in the number of fires this year compared to 2008 the number of avoidable fires can significantly increase the number of fires.

Kenneth Mortis; Training Officer, National Fire Service
“This December month is a month filled with lots of light. It is the Christmas time and everybody wants their house to look pretty and so forth. That’s no problem. Use the extension cords sparingly and use it in the manner in which it is used for. One of the trend that has set its pace in the pass is the pushing for the in the completion of our cooking for Christmas dinners or what have you. It’s a tiresome, tedious task that one person cannot take on alone so we recommend that whether it be the house wives that do the cooking or the male that does the cooking in the home; don’t try to take on this burdensome task by yourself. Have partner with you. If you are cooking up into the midnight hours and you feel tired, there is no crime in taking a couple hours rest. Take a couple hours rest, get up back and carry on from where you left off. We encourage you guys to look after yourselves, be conscious of what you are doing, follow the safety guidelines set out there, not only by us the fire department but from our other agencies such as the Belize Electricity Limited. We all have guidelines that we put in place and it is not just for paper and ink purposes, it’s for the benefit of all of us, domestic house hold, wherever you are. These are the guidelines set out, let us abide by them and we should have a fire free Christmas this year.”

Every year around this time the department carries a fire safety campaign and according to Mortis this year’s campaign will be launched in a week or so.

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