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  • The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is urging Jamaicans to take precautions this Christmas, in order to prevent fires.
  • Public Relations Officer of the JFB, Emeleo Ebanks, said that many persons either lose their lives or homes during the yuletide season due to unsafe practices, which result in fires.
  • Mr. Ebanks used the opportunity to implore persons to use the services of certified electricians to wire their houses.

The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is urging Jamaicans to take precautions this Christmas, in order to prevent fires.

Public Relations Officer of the JFB, Emeleo Ebanks, said that many persons either lose their lives or homes during the yuletide season due to unsafe practices, which result in fires.

“In November 2012, there were 83 homeless adults due to fires, and in December of that year the number increased to 107. In November 2013 there were 78 homeless persons and in December there was an increase to 94 persons. In most cases, this is as a result of human error,” he said.

Mr. Ebanks, who was addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank today (December 17), blamed the losses on the influence of alcohol and the increased demand and use of electricity.

“We have seen cases where persons are overloading sockets by plugging in up to 15 lights into one socket,” he pointed out, noting that in these instances, persons may experience short circuiting if the house has been wired for five years or more.

“In other cases, the house was recently rewired, however, it may not have been done by a trained and licensed electrician. This uncertified electrician may have taken a few short cuts to save the home owner money, which may eventually cost them their home,” he said.

Mr. Ebanks used the opportunity to implore persons to use the services of certified electricians to wire their houses.

He also advised persons “not to overload your circuits. If you must use Christmas lights, plug in a minimum of three lights per socket. Do not plug in lights for more than five hours as no one enjoys them as you sleep so unplug them before bed at nights.”

He also pointed out that plastic Christmas trees and decorations easily ignite and the lights on the trees generate heat, which may result in fires as well.

Persons seeking additional information about making their homes safer this season and beyond may contact JFB Fire Prevention Division at 922- 2523.

 

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