The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) is working on installing ten new fire hydrants across San Pedro Town. These fire hydrants are being placed in key locations where water is not easily accessible. Those areas include DFC, San Pedrito, San Marcos and locations in the town core. With the ten new hydrants that will be installed, and the other nine hydrants that were installed back in 2003, San Pedro Town will soon boast an available 19 hydrants in the case of a fire emergency.
According to Jerome Garcia, Chief of the SPFD, the new hydrants were provided by the Government of Belize, and installed by Belize Water Services (BWS) upon request of the government. Pumping water from the sea or lagoon is a challenge for fire fighters since it is difficult for the fire truck to gain access to the water. Hydrants can now replace the need to obtain water from the sea or lagoon and have water readily available in case of emergencies. The hydrants were strategically placed in congested areas where fires would be more prone to occur.
Garcia stated that approximately 90% of the fires witnessed in San Pedro Town are due to negligence, “Most fires are due to negligence by humans. An example is, like at home, people may know they have faulty wiring yet they do not get it fixed. The fire department recommends copper tubing for gas stoves yet many people prefer to use plastic and rubber tubing that will melt and can lead to a fire. Everybody knows that stores sell copper tubing, yet they don’t buy it. Burning garbage in their yard can lead to fires as well.”
Residents are asked to respect the fire hydrants and not to tamper with them. Taxis and golf carts should not park in front of a fire hydrant, since hydrants need to always be accessible by the fire trucks. For any fire emergencies, contact The San Pedro Fire Department at phone number 206-2372.San Pedro Sun