Rate of fire breakouts, costs alarming


Your front page article on the very high rate of fire incidents (22 in just six months – The National, Oct 5) was alarming.
But the revelation of their costs at K23 million, which the report did not clarify whether it included loss of life  in three cases outside NCD, plus the government’s continuing failure to provide the necessary funds requested by the Fire Services Department to adequately equip itself to meet its statutory and public responsibility and obligations, was even more alarming and terrifying.
While the primary responsibility for the fire safety of homes and buildings rest squarely with the home and property owners, building designers/architects and building authority, accidents can and do
happen as the statistics clearly showed.
It is in instances like these that the public rely on the Fire Service Authority to be up to its task of saving both life and property, otherwise why have it as an essential service function of any town and city the world over?
It is criminal to expect the current poorly-equipped  fire-fighting service to rise up to its task of protecting, let alone saving lives and property from industrial fires with its hands tied down.
Given the built-up high-rise buildings with most in close proximity to each other, and the new sprawling urban development, we can only pray for miracles to happen when faced with raging life-threatening fires. It doesn’t help when fire hydrants are not always readily or easily accessible or serviceable when most needed as had happened so many times, resulting in the complete fire destruction to many properties that could have been saved with adequate resources .
The government cannot continue to ignore this real-life threat, to do so would be criminal negligence.

Home owner,
Port Moresby