Fire Dept. Inspected Building formerly known as the Bowling Alley. Does Not Meet Fire Safety Regulations

October 4, 2022 11:17 am
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Fire Department after receiving several calls with questions pertaining to the building on Illidge Road previously known as the Bowling Alley, would like to inform the general public that it was unknown to the Fire Department that the building received a different designation. Recently several inspectors from the Fire Department carried out a general inspection in said building and it was reported that the building does not meet the required fire safety regulations to guarantee the safety of all. When a structure or building is changing its designation (usage /purpose) and making structural changes, it is necessary to submit new drawings so that the Fire Department can give advice on the fire safety based on the new designation of the building. In this case the building was converted from a large, spaced area to several smaller areas where the building will be occupied 24 hours a day meaning that multiple persons will be in the building all day and all night (sleeping). These are factors that changes the risk for the occupants and the fire safety regulations. The Sint Maarten Fire Prevention regulation is based on the type of designation (usage /purpose), for example office, warehouse, apartment complex or hotel. This means that this building has to meet different fire safety requirements than in the previous advice. Usually before a business starts operating, the Fire Department receives a request to advise and inspect where it concerns fire safety. Once fire safety requirements applicable for the specific business are met, the Fire Department will provide an advice stating that the business meets the necessary requirements to operate safely at the specific location. This guarantees the safety of the occupants, visitors, emergency responders and the surrounding area in case of an incident, like a fire. The Fire Department never received any (such request) nor drawings pertaining to the changes that would be or have been carried out on the inside of the building and therefore was unable to give any advice on the safety requirements the building would have to meet to pass the fire safety regulations based on the new designation of the building. All fire safety prevention regulations can be found in the Besluit technische Brandpreventievoorschriften AB2013, GT nr.1.