Fire Hazards of Defective Home Appliances

Defective or inefficient home appliances are globally recognized one of the major causes of fire incidences in many households across the globe. This is clearly attributed to rapid technological advancements that lead to manufacture and production of electronic home appliances such as electric cookers, iron boxes, fridges among many other home appliances. According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission 2006 to 2008 estimates, major home appliances caused over 150,000 annual residential fire outbreaks causing 3,670 injuries, property damage worth $ 547 million and over 150 deaths.

Human Error Plays a Role

Fire caused by defective home appliance

Fire caused by defective home appliance.

Although the commission concluded that human error in the use of these appliances contribute to fire outbreak especially cooking appliances or cloth driers, an in-depth analysis of consumer reports concluded that only half of such fire outbreak incidences can be attributed to human error in using them. According to the safety reports, the other half results from problems associated with appliances themselves with roots from their manufacture.

Defective appliances are therefore risky and are highly associated with fire hazards, for both domestic and commercial uses. They can cause immense losses and destruction to the property. Recently, CPSC reported 15 million unit appliances being defective and highly predisposed to fire hazards. These appliances caused 1952 incidents.

Nearly 70,000 Incidents

According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System reports analysis between 2002 and 2009 confirmed over 69,000 fire incidences in which the main cause was appliances. Most of these incidents were as a result of mishandling but 23% were as a result of defective appliance itself. Many of these incidents were neither as a result of poor installation nor operation, but appliances operative mechanisms. Many of these fires began at night or in the absence of family members. For instance, brand name microwave owners reported their appliances turning on themselves. Others failed to be turned off until plugged off.

The Right Technology and Manufacturer

According to IEEE, most modern appliances have a certain kind of microcomputer. So their auto turning on may be caused by the wiring which acts like antenna that picks up electromagnetic interference, making the appliance to turn on. Toasters and blenders are highly associated with this defect.

Consider opting for manufacturers that have a great track record.  LG Washer/Dryers, for instance, have a high safety rating.  Check with your local expert for safety guidelines.

Electromagnetic interference may also be caused by Bluetooth devices such as phones, computers, home entertainment gadgets, Wi-Fi, garage door openers, two-way radios, e.t.c.

Fire hazards of defective home appliances are catastrophic and calls for high level of vigilance on the side of both manufacturers and consumers to work out ways of reducing or avoiding them. Here are some of the ways of reducing effects dangers associated with defective home appliances:

  • Company’s certification of their products should consider that the appliance being certified or approved has minimum possible fire dangers.
  • Consumers should use appliances as recommended by the manufacturer on the user manual. This is because the manufacturer has a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses of their products.
  • Ensure that all electric home appliances are switched off or disconnected from electricity any time they are not under use.
  • Consider buying electric appliances from highly reputable, licensed and trusted manufacturer or company. Suppliers who offer the benefit of warranty are preferable.
  • Insure your property against fire destruction so that if fire occurs unfortunately, your property can easily be recovered.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, fire hazards of defective home appliances are widespread, yet unpredictable. Their effects are disastrous. It requires conscious efforts to counter these effects by using quality appliances and using them carefully. Any other step can be taken towards preventing fire outbreak that can result from use of defective appliances, as long as it is meant to reduce chances of fire outbreak.

Fire Safety Legislation – What You Need to Know

Around the world, fire is the most dangerous human disaster that can happen. In just a snap, all your properties will turn into ashes. Because of this, United kingdom covered their country with about 70 pieces of law. The first law is the Regulatory reform order of 2005. This law will take effect in all of the workplaces in England and Wales. The law tells you who will be the responsible person in case the workplace or establishment will catch fire. This law replaced the previous legislation which is the Fire Precautions of 1971, wherein you need to apply a fire certificate to your building that does not go under material alterations or improvements.

Scotland

Scotland has different safety precautions. The law is called The Fire Safety regulation of 2006. Like Scotland, the Northern Ireland also has separate safety precautions that can be found at Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service.

These new laws and safety precautions will take actions to prevent fires and protect your properties as well as the safety of your house from fire. Also, as an employee, you will be protected and insured by the company that they are working for.

United Kingdom and Elsewhere

Aside from that, United Kingdom also includes general fire safety hazard that the company should comply. This includes the source of ignitions, the source of fuel, and oxygen that can cause the fire.

As an individual we need to be careful especially that there are a lot of hazardous things around us. Make sure that if you are to be the responsible person, you have a proper training for the safety of your employers. Make sure that you have the proper equipment in putting out the fire. And of course, you need to comply with the fire safety legislation that was created by the government. In that way we can prevent a much bigger accident that will cause all of our investments and sometimes a life

How to Handle Mold Infestations after a Fire

You probably know that a fire is damaging in many ways, but you might not consider that it could actually generate a mold infestation. How can it do this?

Well, how do you get rid of a fire? You most likely use water in some capacity in order to do this. Many fires require a lot of water. In essence, this large amount of water emulates a flood, and thus, leads to water damage, and the resulting formation of mold. This predicament can be particularly irritating because now you are required to deal not only with fire damage, but also with water damage, and additionally, mold damage.

Impacts of Mold Infestations

Especially when not dealt with immediately, mold infestations pose serious health threats to individuals frequently exposed to the affected areas. Indoor mold that results from fires can infect humans with any of the following:
skin rashes, allergies, asthma, central nervous system issues, headaches, bleeding lungs, hives, irritability, flu symptoms, diarrhea, dermatitis, cancer, itching, insomnia, mental dysfunction, fatigue, and memory loss problems; and this list is not exhaustive.

An example of black mold, which can attack damp areas of a home (often after a fire has been extinguished).

In order to minimize the burden that results from the formation of this mold, it is wise to hire a mold inspection Austin expert, and get your damaged area tested for mold. The main benefit you will experience from testing for mold is increased knowledge. Knowing the true facts about your situation, and understanding the results of your mold test can assist you in making a decision about the best approaches to take in order to remove the mold. Plus, figuring out if there actually exists a mold infestation in your affected area can help you act before the infestations gets out of hand, and costs you more money, time, and energy.

Not to mention, there also exist many health risks involved in the basic task of handling the mold. Furthermore, making the incorrect decisions can potentially make you very sick. For instance, depending on your situation, it might be possible to scoop, scrape, and dispose of the mold by hand yourself, but this significantly increases your chances of becoming infected. Therefore, the knowledge you obtain from mold testing can also help you proceed with caution, and handle the situation in the safest manner possible. It is best to hire a professional to remove the mold from your affected area.

Mold Testing Costs

How much does mold testing cost? How much does mold removal cost? These costs vary depending on your situation, and on your country. One thing is nearly guaranteed though, mold testing and removal will cost much less than the long-term expenses associated with expansive mold infestations. Many contractors offer free mold testing, and then simply charge for the removal.

For example, in the United States, the average reported cost of mold testing and removal is $2151. This number is based on 2673 cost profiles. The low cost of mold testing in the U.S. is $500, and the high cost is $5250. This said, most homeowners in the U.S. spent between $1135 and $3182 on mold testing and removal.

In Jamaica, local island mold testing and removal costs equal approximately $1500 per day. This varies heavily depending on which area of Jamaica your damaged property is located in, and on the circumstances of your damage. Many local Jamaican processes involvea handful of hard-working, highly experienced individuals investigating your pertinent area, testing for mold, and then carrying out the mold removal techniques. In Jamaica, mold removal experts typically require a 3-day minimum charge. The workers work approximately 10 hours per day. Given the number of hurricanes and other natural disasters that occur in Jamaica, mold infestations invade much more frequently than they do in the United States; however, mold testing costs and prices for mold removal tend to be cheaper.

As discussed, it is very wise to decide to get your fire-damaged area professionally inspected for mold, and then hire workers to remove the mold. Mold infestations are indirect consequences of putting out fires using copious amounts of water. It is definitely better to minimize your chances of getting sick, and take the burden off your shoulders by hiring an expert. Mold testing costs vary depending on the circumstances of your damage, and the region where you are located. Never forget that as long as it involves molds, prevention is always better than cure.

Tree Removal Safety for Hurricane Recovery

Flooding as a result of heavy rains and high winds, such as the most recent destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, can have diverse impact on local landscapes. Normally, trees take most of the damage by hurricanes and strong storms. The reason for this is likely to be their leafy canopies and large sizes. This implies that a majority of the cleanup that is done after a hurricane or a strong storm involves tree care. Safety exercised in tree removal after strong storms and hurricanes is a neglected area and this is the reason it will be discussed to some significant depth.

How to handle the damage

Follow these steps to safely handle downed trees in the aftermath of a hurricane.

Follow these steps to safely handle downed trees in the aftermath of a hurricane.

There are numerous ways by which to safely remove trees or part of tree after strong storms and hurricanes. Some of the notable ones include the following:

  • It is usually recommended that most of the care required for trees after a hurricane or a strong wind should be performed by professional arborists. The primary reason for the recommendation is because they have the appropriate expertise and equipment to go about safely removing fallen trunks or large trees.
  • Professionals also exercise the necessary safety precautions on handling power lines that have been downed. This is because such power lines fall around trees. This might be risky for an individual without the appropriate expertise and equipment to perform the job safely.
  • Trees that have fallen should be safely removed as soon as possible. This is because they might fall on the house or close to it.
  • If the property owner would like to have the stumps of their trees removed safely, he or she should enquire from the company that is providing the tree removal service. Residue of wood chips obtained from the grinding of branches and stumps can be recycled for mulch in seed beds.
  • Small branches and trees can be easily and safely handled by homeowners with the help of chain saws. This is usually a necessary activity so as to clear driveways and pathways. It may also be to remove branches that are found in the environs of a home. However, the safety with regards to equipment use and adhering to the safety precautions provided by the manufacturer are important. No one should attempt carrying out jobs that are beneath their ability to carry out tree removal.
  • Licensed arborists should be hired to remove large branches that are broken yet it is still hanging on its specific tree. This is because such branches pose a great risk due to their ability to fall at any random time. This should be handled quickly so as to encourage safety.  (Arborists are available in many different localities, click here for more info).
  • Old trees that have been seriously damaged and cannot be saved and those that are leaning a great deal should be removed. It should be noted that if the tree is not dangerously leaning then it can be safely assumed that is safe from falling.
  • Strong storms and hurricanes have the tendency to strip foliage from trees. Alternatively, it can make foliage appear burned, unhealthy and even brown.

Conclusion

The above tree removal safety after hurricanes and strong storms should be preferably be done by tree experts such as professional arborists. This insightful information on tree removal safety after hurricanes and strong storms will broaden the knowledge when it comes to the subject. Stay safe by hiring services of tree removal experts who have the appropriate equipment and expertise to perform such jobs.

Stations

The following is a list of Fire Stations, locations and Telephone Numbers

AREA I

Kingston & St. Andrew

York Park
167 Orange St. Kgn(10), Ph. 922-2121-2 or 922-2127-9 or 922-2150-1 or 922-2153-4
Half-Way-Tree
Half-Way-Tree Kgn(10), Ph. 926-8165-6 or 920-2488
Rollington Town
14 Giltress St. Kgn(2), Ph. 928-1041 or 928-1063
Port Royal
Cagway Rd.Kgn(1), Ph. 924-8414 or 9967-8054-5
Stony Hill
Seaview Road, Stony Hill Kgn(9), Ph. 942-3053 or 942-3055 or 942-3410
Trench Town
Spanish Twn Rd., Ph. 923-4155 or 923-5970
Fire Boat
New Port East, Ph. 922-7018
Fire Prevention Division
8 Ocean Blvd. Ph. 967-1268 or 967-4891 or 967-4893 or 922-2523

St. Thomas

Morant Bay
Debtors Lane, St. Thomas Ph. 982-2268
Yallahs
Yallahs, St. Thomas Ph. 982-5600

AREA II

Portland

Port Antonio
West Baptist Ave., Ph. 993-2525 or 993-3041

Buff Bay
Baker Street, Ph. 9996-1501

St. Mary

Port Maria

1 Banana Street, Ph. 994-2285 or 994-2771
Annotto Bay
Main Street, Ph. 996-2216
Oracabessa Assistant Commissioner’s Office
Ph. 975-3587

St. Ann

St. Ann’s Bay
3 Bravo Street, Ph. 972-2322
Ocho Rios
Ph. 974-2317 or 972-2221

Trelawny

 

Falmouth
Lower Parade, Ph. 954-3230 or 954-4451
AREA III

St. Catherine

Spanish Town
King street, Ph. 9984-2251 or 984-4217 or 984-7827 or 984-5789 or 943-9534
Old Harbour
South Street,Ph. 983-2276
Linstead
Vanity Fair,Ph. 985-2333
Portmore
Parkway,Ph. 988-2357

Clarendon

 

May Pen
Brooks Avenue,Ph. 986-2192 or 986-2064 or 902-4525
Frankfield
Ph. 964-2441

Manchester

 

Mandeville
Brigade Crescent,Ph. 962-2588 or 962-2780 or 962-5935
Christiana
Main Street, Ph. 964-2444
AREA IV

 

St. James

 

Montego Bay
Barnette St.,Ph. 952-2311 or 952-2145
IronShore
Ironshore, Ph. 952-4097 or 953-2998

Hanover

 

Lucea
Main St.,Ph. 956-2220 or 956-92414
EMS.,Ph. 956-3538

Westmoreland

 

Savanna-La-Mar
Darling St.,Ph. 955-2540 or 955-2666 or 955-3331
Negril
Redground, Ph. 957-4242 or 957-3776

St. Elizabeth

 

Black River
Brigade St.,Ph. 965-2222 or 965-2740
Santa Cruz
Institution Drive, Ph. 966-2302
Junction
Junction, Ph. 965-8622

Organization and Structure

The Jamaica Fire Brigade is a Statutory Body within the Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Local Government. Its central administration is headed by a Board of Directors which sets broad policy guidelines implemented by a Commissioner in whom is vested the operational command and the day-to-day running of the Brigade.

The role of the Jamaica Fire Brigade is to protect life and property from fire or other disasters within the Island and its territorial seas. This role translates into the specific duties of:
1. Extinguishing fires.

2. Protecting life and property endangered by fire or other disasters.

3. Obtaining information with regard to potential risks from fire or other disasters.

4. Inspecting buildings to ensure that reasonable steps are taken for the prevention of fire and for protection against the dangers of fire or other disasters.

5. Making arrangements to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to prevent or mitigate loss or injury arising from fire or other disasters.

6. Rendering pre-hospital emergency medical care and/or treatment to ill or injured persons and transporting them to recognized medical institutions.

7. Carrying out other functions for the purpose of preventing or mitigating risks or danger to life and property as the Minister may, by order, require the Fire Brigade to undertake from time to time.

For carrying out its functions the Brigade is broadly divided into two branches. An Operations Branch and an Administrative Branch, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner.

The Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations has overall responsibility for thefour(4) “Areas” which carry out the major responsibilities of the Brigade in firefighting and rescue operations islandwide. Headed by Assistant Commissioners, these Areas are drawn up along geographic lines for administrative and operational purposes. The Areas are further sub-divided into thirteen (13) Divisions which conform to parish boundaries. Presently there are thirty-three (33) Fire Stations spread islandwide throughout the Divisions. These are served by a fleet of ninety-one (91) operational (firefighting and rescue) vehicles and fifty-eight (58) utility vehicles. There are also three (03) Fire Boats, one each assigned to the harbours in Kingston,Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The Fire Prevention and Public Relations Division and the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) also fall under the Operations Branch of the Brigade providing fire prevention services and emergency medical rescue (Paramedic) services.

The Deputy Commissioner in charge of Administration has overall responsibility for the six (06) Departments which provide administrative support services to all areas of the Brigade. These support services are provided through the Brigade Stores, the Accounts, Communications, Personnel and Training Departments. There is also a General Maintenance Department which comprises the Brigade Workshop, the Transport and Fleet Management, Building Maintenance and Equipment Maintenance Sections.

History

The Fire Service in Jamaica was established in October 1871 with the formation of the Kingston Fire Brigade to satisfy the need for a trained and equipped Fire Service to be responsive to growth in housing, industrial and commercial developments in Kingston following a spate of large fires which had ravaged sections of the City’s commercial sectors. Operating from Sutton Street in downtown Kingston, the Brigade was then comprised of a horse-drawn steam pump and a small number of men under the command of a Scotsman – Alexander McFarlane. As the City grew, the need for wider fire coverage gave rise to the first sub-station, Half-Way-Tree, which opened in the late 1930s. In keeping pace with the developments a new Headquarters, York Park was opened in November 1944 housing at the time sixty-nine men, six firefighting vehicles and a utility car. Operating under the aegis of the Kingston and St. Andrew Fire Brigade (KSA) Act, the KSA Fire Brigade was primarily for “…the protection of life and property from the ravages of fire within the limits of the Corporate area …” The rural Parishes in the Island were not without their own defence against fire hazards and under the Parochial Fire Brigade Act twelve Parish Fire Brigades were established at various times in St. Catherine – 1933, St. Elizabeth – 1934, Portland – 1936, St. James – 1942, St. Mary – 1948, St. Ann – 1951, Trelawny and Hanover – 1957, St. Thomas, Clarendon and Manchester – 1958, and Westmoreland – 1961. These thirteen dis-joined Parish Brigades were all funded by Central Government but continued as fragmented parochial entities. It was always the perception in the post-independence years that for greater cost effectiveness, more efficient fire coverage, greater command and control, among other things, the fragmented Brigades should all be re-organised, unified and made answerable to one central command. Steps to bring about this unification were finally taken in October of 1988 with the passing of the Fire Brigade Act which repealed the Kingston and St. Andrew Fire Brigade Act and the Parochial Fire Brigade Act “….and established in and for (all) Jamaica a national Fire Service (thereafter) to be called the Jamaica Fire Brigade…” – one unified, national organization unfettered by parochial restrictions.

Pre-Employment Requirements

All prospective candidates must:
Be of Jamaican citizenship
Be between the ages of 18 to 28 years old
Be medically fit
Be the holder of academic certificates with minimum passes in:
– four (4) GCE ‘O’ Levels – Grades A – C or
– four (4) CXC subjects (General Proficiency) – Grades 1 – 3 or
– five (5) SSC subjects or equivalent.
(English Language and Mathematics are compulsory.)
Have adequate knowledge of Tree Removal Safety.

Note: Despite the required qualifications shown above, each applicant must pass a prescribed
Entrance Examination. The better the applicants academic standard is the better the chance of success in this Examination.

ENTRY TEST AND SCREENING

A written Entrance Examination covering Dictation, Mathematics, English Language, General Knowledge, Mental Ability Test, etc
A Physical Agility Test which includes a height requirement test
A comprehensive background check looking into past employment, character profile and criminal history/Police record.
A medical examination including blood test, vision test and drug screening
An interview

CONTACTING THE BRIGADE

The Recruiting Officer

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS

Jamaica Fire Brigade

14 Port Royal Street, Kingston

Telephone:(876) 922-0007 or (876) 922-0027.
Fax:(876) 967-3594)

Welcome!

commwelWelcome to www.jamaicafirebrigade.org, the online home of the Jamaica Fire Brigade. Thank you for taking the time to view this web site. In doing so, you are showing a desire to find out more about our fire brigade and we are very pleased to be able to help you in this respect. Our committment is to provide an economical and highly efficient Fire Brigade and this can best be achieved if citizens are aware of the roles they have to play. The Jamaica Fire Brigade therefore encourages Jamaican citizens to take an interest in the role of the fire brigade, as with fully informed citizens we will be able to reduce the number of fires, false alarms, accidents, deaths and injuries. To our visitors from overseas, we hope that your visit to this site will heighten your interest, not only in the Jamaica Fire Brigade, but also in Jamaica generally. For this reason, we have ensured that this site contains links to Jamaica’s major newspapers, as well as various Government sites and other sites that provide interesting information about Jamaica. We encourage feedback on not just this web site, but our service generally and invite your comments through entries in our Guest Book or our hot line. Thanks for viewing