There have been a rash of fires in the city recently - and apart from the massive loss of property - since May, two lives have been lost.
But what should or can you do in the event that fire comes breathing down your door? It's a possibility that none of us would event want to consider, but it's real, and today Station Officer of the Belize National Fire Services, Orin Smith briefed the media on what to do when there is a fire and how to prevent one from happening. Here are some demonstrations - set to the very persistent din of a fire alarm.
Orin Smith - Station Officer, National Fire Service
"Here I have in front of me a lighter gun, a candle, a cigarette lighter, a box of match - these are all tools that adults used. I am appealing to the adults to train the children. These are not toys for the children to play with and by all means do not leave these tools in easy-reach of children. Children have a natural way of learning. They will learn by imitating what they see adults do. If there are smokers in the home that use cigarette lighters, if they placed these things in easy-reach of children they will use them. Some home don't use matches, they either use a lighter or a lighter gun or have an electric stove that you can just press the button and that stove light up. If they have these tools, do not leave them in easy reach of children."
"Children, these tools: a match, a lighter, or lighted candles, these are tools for adults to use. They are not toys, so do not play with them. The danger of playing with is that you will burn down the house, you can burn and injure yourself or you can kill yourself in a fire."
"Parents, you should also have a smoke alarm in the home. Smoke alarm provides early warning in the event of fire for evacuation. If the fire is in the incipient stage, having an extinguisher at home helps you to quickly put out that fire. You can save your home which cost quite a bit and these tools do not cost very much or you can lose a life worth of labour and hard work in the destruction of your home if you fail to implement these safety precautions or train your children on the dangers of playing with matches, lighters and lighted candles."
"If you are at home and you awake to the sound of the fire alarm, simply get to the door at the way you are in, stay low. If there is no heat, push the door open slowly, stay low and crawl to the nearest exit quickly and get out of the building."
He says you can purchase a smoke detector for as little as 25 dollars and a small fire extinguisher for 50 dollars.
In the past month alone there have been 4 reported fires in the Belize District; all caused by children.