Preventing Fires is our Business
The main function of the Fire Prevention Division is, just that, FIRE PREVENTION. Through public education and thorough fire inspections of public buildings, including schools, hospitals, places of amusement and hotels in Jamaica, we help lessen the threat of fire and injury from fire.
The Division is headed by Assistant Commissioner Alaric Hacker, who is the Chief Fire Prevention Officer. Assistant Commissioner Hacker was enlisted in the Brigade in 1995 and serves in the areas of Fire Prevention, and as Commandant of the Training Department.
We all try to prevent fire starting in our home. But it only takes an unguarded or careless moment for a fire to start. A couple of minutes later and your home could be filled with smoke. Smoke and fumes can kill - particularly the highly poisonous smoke from some furniture. You will only have a short time to get out. Use it wisely and try not to panic.
What to do if fire breaks out?
- If you can safely do so, close the door of the room where the fire has started and close all other doors behind you. This will help delay the spread of smoke.
- Before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch it. Don't open it if it feels warm - the fire will be on the other side.
- Get everyone out as quickly as possible. Don't try to pick up valuables or possessions. Make your way out as safely as possible and try not to panic.
- Plan your escape route now. Don't wait until a fire starts.
- Telephone the Jamaica Fire Brigade at your local Fire Station or from a neighbours house. Clearly state the address of the fire.
- Never go back into your home until a fire officer has told you it is safe.
What to do if you're cut off by fire?It's not easy, but try to remain calm. Save your energy to help you survive.
- If you are prevented from getting out because of flames or smoke, close the door nearest to the fire and use towels or sheets to block any gaps. This will help stop smoke spreading into the room.
- Go to the window. If the room becomes smoky, go down to floor level - it's easier to breathe because the smoke will rise upwards.
- Open the window, try to attract the attention of others who can alert the fire brigade. Wait for the fire brigade, they should arrive in a matter of minutes.
- If you are in immediate danger, drop cushions or bedding to the ground to break your fall from the window.
- Get out feet first and lower yourself to the full length of your arms before dropping.