Fire proofing our country
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
As the entry of the hot and dry summer months of summer increase the potential of fires breaking out, the Bureau of Fire Protection celebrates Fire Protection month, with the theme “Kaligtasan sa sunog, alamin, gawin at isabuhay natin (Know fire safety practices and live them)”.
One of the top tips of the BFP for preventing fires is for Filipinos to be more aware of the danger posed by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical and wiring systems in homes and the workplace. It is when these invisible electric wires and hidden circuit breakers that we often ignore because they are hidden behind walls or ceilings, fail due to overloading, overheating, old age, or loose connections that destructive and often deadly fires break out. It is only when power goes out, when sparks fly, or when a fire breaks out that most Filipino households and workplaces have their electrical systems and wiring checked by qualified electricians.
The BFP also advises homeowners to turn off the fuse box when leaving the house for extended periods and not to use appliances such as electric fans and air conditioning units continuously to avoid overheating. It also advises homeowners to unplug appliances when not in use and avoid octopus connections that can overload electrical systems and cause fires. Combustible materials have to be stored properly and LPG tanks and hoses have to be checked regularly as well.
As the Bureau of Fire Protection strives to continuously improve its capabilities and equipment to fight fires that do break out, it is also every Filipino’s duty to continuously educate ourselves and our neighbors on the basics of fire prevention and make our homes safer from fires that can wipe everything we hold dear in minutes. Education and awareness that lead to little adjustments in our homes and places of work can make big differences when it comes to fire prevention, and if the BFP can get the message across to more Filipinos, that would have a more lasting impact than providing firemen all over the country with new fire trucks and equipment.*