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Commercial fires worry authority

Dawn Gibson
Saturday, January 19, 2013

COMMERCIAL fires have become a major concern for the National Fire Authority which has encountered three in a span of one month.

Between December 22 last year and January 14, the NFA attended to three fires at Nakasi, Tavua and Nadi towns respectively.

A man died during last week's fire in Nadi Town and this has raised concerns for the authority regarding the public's approach to such incidences.

"The spate of commercial fire is a major concern for NFA since there were only 10 commercial fires last year," said NFA chief executive John O'Connor.

He said supermarkets needed to be more responsible in the storage of their goods in bulk because it made fire-fighting difficult if products were not stored smartly.

"NFA had difficulty in fighting the fires in these supermarkets because of the storage of combustible materials and hazardous materials together in the bulk store.

"Hazardous materials must not be stored with other combustible materials in the bulk and must be stored in accordance with their Safety Material Data Sheets (SMDS).

"It was very difficult for firefighters to reach the source of the fire because there was hardly any space to allow the firefighters to move freely in the bulk area, " he said referring to the bulk store fire at Tavua.

Given the difficulties faced by the NFA this past month, the next round of inspections will focus on supermarkets to ensure they comply with the safety requirements.


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