Bridgetown stores safe, says Brathwaite

Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite has given the assurance that stores in Bridgetown are safe for staff and customers despite the fact that some only one door for entrance and exit, with no other means of escape in the event of an emergency.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

He told the congregation at the James Street Methodist Church gathered yesterday for the start of national Fire Service Week that over the last few years fire officers have been spending a considerable amount of time in Bridgetown assisting businesses and working continuously to ensure that persons can shop in a safe environment.

Brathwaite said his comment was meant to address recently published reports that many stores in the City continued to be unsafe because they operate with single doors which serve as the sole avenue for both entry and exit.

Earlier this month Barbadians observed the fifth anniversary of the Campus Trendz store fire that took the lives of six young women on September 3 2010. That store had a single door.

The tragedy triggered pleas for the many one-door establishments to have alternative exits and to strengthen safety.

“The fact that a shop has one door, it does not make it entirely dangerous, and we have been going from store to store looking at the length and width and trying to advise owners of the best way that they can protect themselves and the business to the stores,” Brathwaite said.

“We’ve done that in particular, over the last couple of years [but]from what I’ve read, you would believe that we’re not doing anything and the fact that the store has one door meant that automatically persons were at risk there continuously.”

During a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the fire, leading crusader against domestic violence Liesel Daisley complained that young women continued to work in unsafe “one-door” stores and suggested that that there had been little to no progress in terms of safety in the five years since the tragedy.

Daisley, the founder of the Service Alliance for Violent Encounters (SAVE) Foundation said it was unfair for vulnerable young women working hard to earn an honest dollar to be forced to do so under unsafe and unlawful conditions.

However, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer has said that one-door establishment will not necessarily become extinct under the amended Shops Act.

“Some facilities are one-door facilities, and it’s difficult to change them from being one-door facilities because that’s just how [they are],”  she said at a recent meeting of the St George South branch of the Democratic Labour Party.

Meanwhile Minister Brathwaite used the occasion of the Fire Service’s 60th  anniversary to announce that it will soon begin recruiting auxiliary officers to supplement the work of firemen officers.

Brathwaite said that fire officers are being called upon to perform non-essential tasks in addition to applying their skills in critical situations, causing stressing situations, during the crop season when they sometimes work between 12 and 15 hours a day.

“We know that they would always want to serve the people [but] there comes a point in time when you cannot go any more. So it is our hope to supplement them with these auxiliary officers who will be called in as required,” he said.

14 Responses to Bridgetown stores safe, says Brathwaite

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner September 29, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Politicians in Barbados downright friggin stupid these clowns have zero intention of changing anything, just backwards country gine stay..

  2. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis September 29, 2015 at 5:56 am

    There goes Mr.Clueless

  3. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne September 29, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Are businesses safe, Mr. Brathwaite? That is what we want to know.

  4. Maria Leclair
    Maria Leclair September 29, 2015 at 9:04 am

    There should always be a front and back entrance. It should be a fire regulations law for emergency purposes. Any property without should be closed.

  5. Lise Hansen
    Lise Hansen September 29, 2015 at 10:04 am

    HOW would he know? Was he ever in one of them??????

  6. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte September 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

    REALLY NOW …… He needs to tour these locations…. However… It’s up to the staff of these businesses to Voice their concerns if they feel unsafe and unsecured…..

    Idle FB comments wont change his opinion or stance.

  7. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce September 29, 2015 at 11:10 am

    ‘Safe’ is living in a Cartoon World.

  8. Dave D Small
    Dave D Small September 29, 2015 at 11:48 am

    This man is in a constant state of delusion and denial

    • Dave D Small
      Dave D Small September 29, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      As far as he is concerned all in Barbados is well

  9. Linda Fenty
    Linda Fenty September 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Is this gentleman is aware of what he said.
    How can a store with one door meant for entrance and exit be safe. I am sure he couldn’t have gone into any of those stores and saw that for himself. The people in government keep reinforcing how silly and out of touch their are . All that talk about safety from fire officials , town and country and our own politicians was just lip service when those young ladies died. Another tragedy is in the making if things are not put in place for the safety of employees and the general public.

  10. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love September 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm


  11. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton September 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    This is amazing, the people that speak on behalf of the citizens of this country. To the rest of the world please don’t judge us by one person, a lot of us are intelligent.

  12. Tony Waterman September 29, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    And we pretend each and every Day that we are a World Class society, and a Leader, well!!! so was the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
    This Ag. has to be the Most STUPID Man i have ever come across, how can he stand in Church of all Places and make a stsaement like that, God must be Crying.
    Did Campus Trendz not teach us anything, first off, that building (Campus Trendz) ORIGINALLY had a back Door, which was REMOVED and Blocked up presumably by the Store owner, to prevent being a Victim of SHRINKAGE and B&E, that to me should have been the first illegality (Not in BIm) If The Ag, is saying that this place was still safe, can he tell the People of Barbados what the caused the SIX Ladies to die of Smoke Inhalation,if it was so safe they SHOULD be still alive Today, yes they would still be alive IF there was a back exit.
    Mister Ag. there is something WRONG with you, and in my opinion you should Resign from that Post due to Incompetence.


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