building

Chief warns of fire safety

Business

By JACKLYN SIRIAS
THE PNG Fire Service is warning businesses operating in high-rise buildings to take precautions seriously as it lacks the capacity to assist them in case of a fire.
Gerehu Fire Station commander Superintendent John Gareresi told The National that the fire trucks they had could only deal with fire in low buildings and bush fires.
“We previously had two fire engines – the 24-metre ariel platform snorkel for Gerehu currently undergoing servicing and repair, and the 23-metre ariel platform snorkel for Waigani, which is awaiting servicing,” he said.
Gareresi said the two fire trucks were the only ones used for the whole of Port Moresby city and had the capacity to fight fires in buildings up to five storeys high.
Acting chief fire Bill Roo confirmed that the two fire engines had been grounded because of wear-and-tear issues.
“So we do not have any of such fire capabilities available now,” he said.
Roo said it was important for building boards and people who wanted to construct new buildings to consult the community safety sections in any of their branches.
“We can provide expert advice on inbuilt fire protection and on how best we can protect buildings from fire,” he said.
Gareresi is also concerned that the equipment they have needed servicing and repairs. Funding is their biggest challenge, he said.
“We have manpower, but we need more equipment and trainings for our fire fighters, not only to prepare for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum but to promptly respond to any fire operations within the city at any time,” he added.

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