Wed | Jul 17, 2019

Falmouth businesses still in breach of Int’l Fire Code

Published:Friday | July 12, 2019 | 12:17 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Two months after the Trelawny Fire Brigade (TFB) confirmed that at least 25 businesses, including supermarkets and haberdasheries, were operating in Falmouth in breach of the International Fire Code, no action has been taken to remedy the situation.

Addressing yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC), Patrick Robinson, deputy superintendent of the TFB, said that despite pointing out the breaches to the offenders, the situation remained the same.

“We have observed that the breaches have not been remedied. As per guidelines, we have written to the operators, from whom there has been no response, but they have continued to operate,” said Robinson.

“We have also written to the municipality and they have not responded. I have been informed that the chief executive officer is on leave, so I will forward the letter to the person who is acting for him,” added Robinson.

When The Gleaner sought to get a response from Falmouth’s mayor, Collen Gager, the usually cooperative TMC chairman was blunt in his refusal to engage.

“I have nothing to say,” Gager blurted out, as The Gleaner approached him.

Without action taken to address the breaches of the International Fire Code, customers at the places of business identified by the fire department are potentially exposed to danger.

According to the International Fire Code, businesses should have at least two clear exit routes to permit prompt evacuation of employees and other building occupants. The code also dictates that “a person should have to walk no more than 75 feet to reach a fire extinguisher”.

The 25 business places identified, including newly constructed buildings, currently fail to meet the standards outlined.