POLICE and fire officials must investigate fully and completely the circumstances which led to the death of mother of two Anita Ramdath who perished when a fire broke out at her Princes Town home in the early hours of Tuesday.
We express condolences to Ramdath’s family and loved ones, praise the gallantry of not only Ramdath’s husband Shane but also the entire community that rallied around the family during those dramatic early morning hours.
According to reports, Shane bravely risked life and limb to save his two children but was unable to do the same for his wife. He will have to now face life without his wife, and his children will have to be raised without their mother. We have no doubt that all involved in this terrible incident will be playing over the event in their minds in the days, weeks, months and years to come.
It is crucial for the police and the Fire Service to get to the bottom of the root cause of this fire so that lessons can be learned and future tragedies prevented. Identifying the cause can ensure homeowners are better prepared to deal with risks and can help the State develop more robust guidelines when it comes to building standards and regulations.
In this regard, while investigations continue into the events at Immortelle Lane, it is important for all to take stock of the need to constantly assess the degree of danger that might be lurking in our own homes. It is also important for all precautions and procedures to be assessed. In the heat of the moment, we do not often have the luxury to implement plans and procedures. The best we can do is be as prepared as reasonably possible.
There are many tips which homeowners should apprise themselves of. Some include: installing smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas; testing smoke alarms every month; having a fire escape plan and practising the plan twice a year; having a fire extinguisher and also regularly maintaining it.
Many fires are also electrical in nature and it is always a good idea to have electrical experts look over the wiring of homes. It is also good to learn how to stop, drop and roll if a fire breaks out.
While it is definitely useful to abide by tips like these, perhaps the most important thing to realise is that no one can ever be prepared for the unforeseeable. The best we can do is prepare as much as we can and hope for calm and gallantry, like that displayed on Tuesday.