Barbados fire chief urges safety measures to reduce fire incidents

May 30, 2024

Surge in fire incidents across Barbados

Chief Fire Officer of the Barbados Fire Service, Errol Maynard, has called on all residents to adopt safety practices to reduce the incidence of fires.

This appeal comes amid a rise in fire incidents across the island, as reported by the Barbados Government Information Service.

“The increased fire activity is putting immense pressure on our aging fleet, equipment, and our dedicated but limited staff,” Maynard stated.

“We strongly urge all Barbadians to adopt stringent safety practices to mitigate fire risks.”

Despite a reduction in overall fire calls compared to last year, the intensity of the fires has increased due to hotter climate conditions.

Fire statistics for 2024

From January 1 to May 23, 2024, the Barbados Fire Service responded to 723 fire incidents, including 364 grass fires, 199 rubbish fires, and 26 fires in private dwellings.

In comparison, the same period in 2023 saw 911 fire calls, which included 500 grass fires, 215 rubbish fires, and 34 fires in private dwellings.

Although the number of fire calls has decreased, the current fires are more severe.

Mr. Maynard emphasized the importance of preventive measures to address the current dry conditions and elevated temperatures that increase fire susceptibility.

Fire safety recommendations

To combat the heightened fire risk, Mr. Maynard offered several recommendations:

  • Avoid burning rubbish and other debris, noting that burn permits are required for open flames.
  • Refrain from indiscriminate dumping and dispose of used batteries appropriately.
  • Create a fire break between homes and surrounding vegetation.
  • Remove dry or dead plants from around the home.
  • Clean fans regularly and have them serviced by qualified technicians.
  • Turn off fans when not in use and never leave working fans unattended.
  • Avoid cooking when tired or under the influence of any substance.
  • Ensure small appliances are serviced by competent individuals.
  • Practise good housekeeping and keep properties clean.
  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits.
  • Be vigilant and report any fire hazards.

Community vigilance and responsibility

The Barbados Fire Service continues to stress the importance of community vigilance in fire prevention.

Residents are encouraged to report any fire hazards promptly and adhere to the recommended safety practices.


Maynard’s call to action underscores the necessity for every Barbadian to take responsibility in safeguarding their homes and communities from fire risks.

Implementing these safety measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of fire incidents and alleviate the strain on the fire service.

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