Fire chief wants restau­rants to main­tain equip­ment

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Christopher Thomas Gleaner Writer christopher.thomas@glean­

WESTERN BUREAU: SU­PER­IN­TEN­DENT DOLFIN Doe­man, the head of the St James Fire Depart­ment, wants restau­rant op­er­a­tors to en­sure that their food-prepa­ra­tion equip­ment are prop­erly main­tained so as to min­imise the pos­si­bil­ity of gas ex­plo­sions.

Doe­man’s warn­ing came against the back­ground of Wed­nes­day’s ex­plo­sion at a Mon­tego Bay-based restau­rant, which re­sulted in three em­ploy­ees be­ing in­jured.

“Three em­ploy­ees were in­jured, two se­ri­ously,” said Doe­man. “Re­ports are that an em­ployee tried to light a deep­fryer and an ex­plo­sion oc­curred, so, for that to hap­pen, there had to have been some vapours in the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We just want per­sons who op­er­ate these en­ti­ties to en­sure that their equip­ment are main­tained reg­u­larly by ex­perts,” con­tin­ued Doe­man. “Per­sons op­er­at­ing these equip­ment have to be very care­ful.”

Re­gard­ing the cause of the ex­plo­sion, Doe­man said that in­ves­ti­ga­tions were still be­ing car­ried out.

“The cause of that leak, or what­ever it may have been that caused that vapour to be present, we are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing it, but for that to have oc­curred, there must have been some vapour, or in this case, it would have liq­ue­fied pe­tro­leum gas (LPG) in the en­vi­ron­ment,” said Doe­man. “The pres­ence of the LPG is de­tected mainly by the odour, so if at any time such odour is de­tected, it will tell us that the vapour is present and you should not try to light any­thing.”


In the af­ter­math of the ex­plo­sion, Doe­man set up a demon­stra­tion of ac­ci­dent-scene pro­to­col, which was put on by mem­bers of the Ja­maica Fire Bri­gade’s Area Four di­vi­sion along Har­bour Street in Mon­tego Bay.

The demon­stra­tion was part of the Fire Bri­gade’s cel­e­bra­tion of Fire Safety Aware­ness Week, which is be­ing held this year un­der the theme ‘Don’t Burn Care­lessly: Un­con­trolled Burn­ing Brings Death and De­struc­tion’.

As part of its week of ac­tiv­i­ties in St James, the Fire Bri­gade also held a walk­through in the Can­ter­bury com­mu­nity, con­ducted a grad­u­a­tion ex­er­cise for 34 res­i­dents of Granville who were re­cently trained in fire-safety aware­ness, and in­spected busi­ness places across the parish for fire-safety com­pli­ance.

“We have con­tin­u­ously in­spected and cer­ti­fied busi­ness places. For the most part, these busi­nesses have been com­pli­ant with our rec­om­men­da­tions,” said Doe­man. “Wher­ever we find them not com­ply­ing, we will work with them to en­sure that they get to the stan­dard that is re­quired of them, but for the most part, the busi­ness en­ti­ties within the parish of St James have been com­pli­ant.”

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