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SAFETY BREACH Patrons face danger at some P'more clubs

INVESTIGATIONS BY THE PORTMORE STAR have uncovered that there are breaches of the safety regulations at some of Portmore's popular entertainment venues.

Checks have revealed that at least two of these venues had breaches.

THE PORTMORE STAR's investigations were carried out at Ken's Wild Flower, Amazon Night Club and Fantasy Night Club.

Under the law, nightclubs must be equipped with an emergency exit, fire extinguishers and have alternative lighting. In addition, the exit should be easily accessible. The staff should also be trained in fire evacuation and there should be an inspection by the fire inspector.

At Ken's Wild Flower, the exit was clearly marked and there was a fire extinguisher visible. But, when THE PORTMORE STAR tried to leave using that point it was discovered that the grille for the bottom gate was padlocked although it should be opened.

Proprietor for Ken's Wild Flower, Lester Crook, said that the gate was kept closed for security reasons but added that someone was always on hand to open it should an emergency arise.

"Given our crime problem we are forced to keep it closed. But, either myself or someone else is always here with a key to ensure that if an emergency arises the gate is opened. But, only the bottom gate is closed and that is for security reasons," he said.

WEAK POINTS

Mayor of Portmore, George Lee, admitted that the safety of patrons at entertainment venues was one of the municipality's weak points.

"It is our weak area. Most times the fire brigade carries out inspections and tells them what to change. The problem is that most of them didn't start out as clubs and they made changes along the way into clubs," he said.

At Fantasy Night club which is an exotic dance club, there was only one entrance and exit point visible. THE PORTMORE STAR tried to find another exit point but none was visible.

Efforts to obtain a comment from the proprietor were unsuccessful.

REGULATION BREACH

Amazon Night Club had both entry and exit points visible. Last year, the Portmore Municipality ordered the club closed after it breached the building regulations. Checks by THE PORTMORE STAR revealed that most of these breaches have since been rectified.

Mayor Lee pointed out that the municipality had raised some issues with Foreign Fantasy, a fairly new club, which was constructing an additional building, and they have complied. He said they will soon be approaching other clubs.

"We raised some issues with the new club and we are imposing certain things that they must do and they have complied. We are now going to start looking at the existing ones. We do need to start looking at that urgently and I will bring it up for mention at the next committee meeting," he said.

 
October 29, 2005
 

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