The Cayman Islands Fire Service is advising residents that keeping all home windows battened up after the announcement of a storm all-clear could prove to be a dangerous practice in an emergency.
Divisional Officer in Charge of Fire Prevention Doorly McLaughlin said that prolonged battening up has been an increasing trend during the hurricane season, but he warns that this could prove to be hazardous as shuttered windows mean that there is no second path of escape in the event of fire or other emergency.
He therefore cautions homeowners, ‘In case of emergency, keep at least one window or exterior door clear in each room.’
Similarly, homes with burglar bars and other grills covering windows and doors should have at least one grill in each room which is instantly removable by a pull-pin or other device, without having to use any special keys or tools.
These measures are also in keeping with recognised building and fire safety codes.