Fire chief underscores the importance of safety equipment in buildings

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An official within the fire department has reminded the public to ensure that buildings are outfitted with equipment to put out fires in the event that they occur.
Fire Chief Elvis Weaver gave this reminder following a fire scare that took place at a government-owned building yesterday.
Around 11 am, tension arose soon after faulty wires that began to smoke resulted in staff and customers being evacuated from Antigua Public Utility Authority’s (APUA’s) headquarters on High Street and Independence Avenue.
Weaver said that the fire department carries out annual inspections on government buildings and recommendations are made to the heads of each department.
“Most of the government buildings, we carry out an inspection on them yearly and we normally make recommendations based on findings. That said, APUA building was inspected just months ago. We always give a report when we are finished,” he said.
While safety measures should be taken into consideration during the construction phase, Weaver has urged everyone to ensure that their buildings are equipped with fire extinguishers in case of emergencies.
“If a building does not have sprinklers, fire extinguishers, or smoke alarms, we recommend it because we believe that they are in need of it,” he said.
“All buildings are in need of fire extinguishers. Sprinklers may be different if they are not built with them but fire extinguishers should be installed in every building that people occupy.”
Yesterday’s incident could have escalated into a clash between APUA’s management and the union representing the company’s workers, but that scenario was avoided.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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