BFP Region 8 urges community participation in fire prevention

UNTV News   •   February 28, 2019   •   3350

TACLOBAN CITY— The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) regional office said, the best way to prevent fire incidents is through community participation, vigilance and common sense.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Senior Supt. Renato Marcial, BFP Eastern Visayas regional director, said awareness is necessary to ensure fire safety.

“Each one can do something to ensure fire safety. Several activities will be held simultaneously in different areas to instill among the community that fire safety is everybody’s concern,” he said.

There has been an increase in the number of fire incidents in Eastern Visayas. From 202 cases in 2017 it increased to 273 last year according to BFP. The total damage was estimated at P156 million with four fire-related deaths reported.

With the theme, “Ligtas na Pilipinas Ating Kamtin, Bawat Pamilya Ay Sanayin, Kaalaman sa Sunog ay Palawakin”, the Fire Prevention month, beginning March 1 will focus on information dissemination to raise public awareness.

The BFP will also conduct lectures on fire prevention and other activities such as fire drills, unity walks and Zumba dance sessions.

Establishments will be inspected and fire-prone areas identified. The BFP will also conduct pre-fire planning in areas that are at risk. –Aileen Cerrudo

#ThinkFireSafetyNow: Worst Fire Incidents in the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   March 6, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Filipino firemen use water hoses to extinguish a fire in a slum area of Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, January 1, 2015. The fire, which razed more than 800 houses made from light materials, leaves thousands of families homeless during the start of the year 2015. According to news reports, the fire started when a firecracker landed in an unattended house, a fire investigator said. | PVI

MANILA, Philippines – In observance of the Fire Prevention Month this March, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has launched interactive activities that aim to promote fire safety, fire prevention and first aid in case of fire with the hashtag campaign #ThinkFireSafetyNow.

Though the Philippines is known for disastrous typhoons, there are a number of fire incidents that left a mark in the country’s history due to the unexpected number of deaths and the extent of damages to properties.

Here is a list of some of the worst fire incidents in the Philippines:

NCCC Mall Fire (December 23, 2017) – Fire gutted the third floor of the NCCC Mall in Davao City. The fire, which went on for 32 hours, caused the lives of 38 individuals and charred about P1.6-B worth of property.

One year after the incident, the City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the case of reckless imprudence filed by the Interagency Anti-Arson Task Force against the mall executives.

There is still no clear decision from the Office of the Ombudsman as to who among the concerned government officials will be held responsible in the incident.

Kentex Slipper Factory Fire (May 13, 2015) – Welding sparks ignited chemicals that caused the massive fire in this slipper and shoes factory. The chemicals were placed near the entrance of the warehouse and so the fire blocked the main exit of the building. The fire went on for five hours, leaving 74 factory workers dead, most of them trapped on the second floor.

Investigation revealed that the building had no Fire Safety Inspection Clearance, a requirement to secure a business permit. The owner also had no fire safety clearance to conduct ‘hot works’ such as welding.

Two years after the incident, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian was charged with graft and reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injury. But Gatchalian insisted that the owner did not violate any provision of the Building Code. In December 2016, Sandiganbayan’s Second Division absolved Gatchalian. The case is still pending at the Supreme Court.

Firefighters exert effort to contain the blaze that erupted inside the armory compound of the Philippine Army‎ in Taguig on May 7, 2014.

Philippine Army HQ Fire (May 7, 2014) – Three soldiers died and 10 others were injured in the fire that ignited from the Philippine Army Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said in its investigation that some of the military’s standard operating procedures (SOP) were violated in the incident as there was no safety officer at that time and combustible materials were placed near the officers.

Several guests at the Manor Hotel are shouting for help through the protective metal grilling on the windows after a fire broke out. (Photo|AP)

Manor Hotel fire (August 18, 2001) – At least 75 people died in a fire that engulfed this accommodation in Kamuning, Quezon City, most of them were participants in a religious conference being held in the area. Investigation revealed that the establishment lacked fire safety features such as water sprinklers, fire alarms, emergency lights, and fire exits.

The new facade of Asociacion De Damas De Filipinas ( IJVelas|Wikimedia Commons)

Asociacion De Damas De Filipinas fire (December 3, 1998) –  A Catholic orphanage in Paco, Manila, the establishment was engulfed in a massive fire that killed 28 people, mostly children who were residents in the center.

Authorities inspect victims’ belongings on the doorway of Ozone Disco where a stampede took place and killed 162 people in a deadly fire. (AFP file photo)

Ozone Disco fire (March 16, 1996) – College students who were about to graduate met their demise when the disc jockey’s booth caught fire and set the pub into an inferno. A total of 162 people were killed and over 90 others were injured.

In November 2014, the Sandiganbayan sentenced nine of the accused, mostly stockholders and former local officials of Quezon City, from 6 to 10 years in prison.

It involved the person who provided the owners building and renovation permits as investigation revealed some structural and fire safety deficiencies in the building. The club had only one door and no alternative fire exit.

Even after 2014, the survivors and the Justice for Ozone Victims Foundation received only P4-M pesos from the business’ insurance.

“The biggest amount received by the families of those who were killed was P20,000 each,” lamented the group’s president Joseph Stephen Santos.

The place where the charred disco pub was erected is now the location of a fast food chain. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

BFP admits shortage of fire trucks and firefighters

admin   •   March 1, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Some of the fire trucks of the Bureau of Fire Protection

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) continues to experience problems in terms of the number of firemen and fire trucks.

Three hundred municipalities have no fire trucks.

However, the BFP said that the government is already addressing the problem.

“Iyong P1-billion na ibinigay na additional fund ng ating presidente ay pambili natin ng aerial ladder, fire truck na tanker, iyong mga SCVA natin saka iyong ating mga personal protective equipment natin,” said fire bureau chief Director Leonardo Bañago.

(The P1-billion additional fund given by the president is for our purchase of aerial ladder, fire truck tanker, SCVA as well as personal protective equipment.)

The government targets to complete the needed number of fire trucks within three to five years.

The BFP is also now processing the hiring of 2,000 firemen this year.

Meanwhile, fire incidents have dropped last year.

Based on the data of BFP, the number of fire incidents in 2017 dropped by 26 percent compared to that of 2016.

Still, a major cause of fire incidents are faulty electricity lines.

“Iyong mga bahay-bahay kasi na iyan, hindi na natin na-iinspeksyon iyan. Kaya kayo mismo, iyong mga ating kababayan mismo, sila na mismo ‘yong mag-conduct ng pagsisiyasat sa kani-kaniyang mga tahanan para makita kung iyong mga maaaring pagmulan ng mga sunog,” said the BFP chief.

(We do not get to inspect houses anymore. That’s why each household should conduct their own inspection to check for potential fire hazards.)

Meanwhile, BFP’s event on Thursday featured a simulation exercise on how to respond in the event a magnitude 7.2 earthquake or the “Big One” hits the country.

The event is part of the fire prevention month which kicked of this year.

The fire prevention month is being celebrated every March.

During the said event, the BFP conducts various campaigns to remind the public on how to avoid fire, especially during summer months.

The UNTV News and Rescue team also joined the fire prevention month rally of the BFP.

The agency also ended the program with a unity dance and a colorful fire truck shower. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue


BFP, Dadalaw sa mga Bahay Upang Magturo ng Fire Safety Tips Upang Maiwasan ang Sunog

admin   •   February 26, 2013

Sabi nga na ilan mas maigi nang manakawan ka ng sampung beses wag lang masunugan dahil di ka naman daw mawawalan ng bahay dahil sa sunog maaaring pati ang tahanan mo ay mawala. (UNTV News)

Sabi nga na ilan mas maigi nang manakawan ka ng sampung beses wag lang masunugan dahil sa sunog maaaring pati ang tahanan mo ay mawala. Kaya naman ang Bureau of Fire Protection NCR ay dadalaw sa mga bahay upang magturo ng fire safety tips. (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Bago ang Marso na siyang Fire Prevention Month, nakapagtala na ng mahigit sa 400 sunog ang Bureau of Fire-NCR sa Metro Manila.

Ngayong Pebrero ay mahigit sa 120 na ang insidente ng sunog.

Nagkakahalaga ng P14.5M ng mga napinsalang ari-arian mula sa mga ito, samantalang anim ang iniulat na nasawi. Kalimitang nagkakaroon ng  sunog sa mga depressed area.

“Nagta-top sa sunog ang Quezon City, kasunod ang Manila,” pahayag ni Fire Chief Inspector Renato Marcial.

Kaya kasama sa plano ng BFP-NCR ngayong Fire Prevention Month ang magbahay bahay upang ituro ang ilang fire prevention tips.

“Una, (be) reminded (sa mga) appliances.  Kabit kabit ng octupos connection na nagko-cause ng overloading. Huwag na nating gawin iyan. Sa pagluluto naman ay i-check ang LPG baka may gas leak. If may brownout tiyakin nating nakapatay ang gasera o kandila bago matulog o huwag ilagay malapit sa kurtina. Maglinis ng papel, light materials na posibleng masindihan ng aksidente, (ang) posporo ilayo sa mga bata,” dagdag pa ng opisyal.

Maiging alamin ang mga labasan sa isang komunidad para sa mabilis na pagkilos kapag may sunog.

Ugaliin din na magsagawa ng fire drill kahit sa sariling tahanan.

“Maging parte sistema nila yung fire drill tingnan ano hazard alisin, imbak ng pintura etc. fire drill pag may sunog ano gawin ng bata magulang saan tatakbo sino tatawag bumbero. itong mga bagay parang isang team proteksyon sa bahay at sarili at dapat may first aid kit,” paliwanag ng opisyal.

Kung magagawang makapaglagay ng smoke alarm at fire extinguisher ay maigi rin ayon sa Fire Protection Bureau.

Bagama’t inamin  ng ahensya na kulang ito sa kagamitan unti-unti na itong natutugunan ng ahensiya

Katunayan 38 bagong firetruck  ang ibibigay sa  BFP sa linggong ito at  karagdagang 38 pa bago matapos ang taon.

Hinikayat din ng BFP ang mga komunidad na gawin ang kanilang bahagi  sa fire prevention at fire fighting.

Sa Brgy. Kaunlaran sa Quezon City, mayroon silang tinatawag na bombita o motorsiklong kinabitan ng tangke ng tubig at nilagyan ng motor at fire hose.

“Kung sakaling may sunog may paunang responde para minimize sunog at maiwasan paglaki,” dagdag pa nito. Paalala din ng BFP, tandaan ang kanilang mga hotlines para sa mabilis na pagresponde sa sunog. (Victor Cosare & Marje Navarro, UNTVNews)


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