Fire Prevention Month has been observed every year since 1966 per Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A, but still, fire continues to cause destruction in the lives and properties of thousands of Filipinos.
2011 has just started but CDRC, which maintains its own disaster database, already recorded 27 fire incidents.
In 2010, as in previous years, fire outnumbered other disasters. There were 123 recorded incidents. Fire also made it to the top 5 disasters with the most number of affected persons in the year 2010. Almost 100,000 were directly affected by fire.
Majority of these incidents occurred in urban centers. The congested areas with its narrow streets, poor housing materials, and fire-hazard electrical installations make it easy for fire to spread swiftly and widely.
So how can we prevent destructive fires from occurring? Here are some tips:
1.Do not put easy to burn or inflamable things near the stove or heater.
2. Always check your electrical installations. If damaged, fix them to avoid fire.
3. Use electrical outlets based on their capacity. Avoid “octopus connection.”
4. Make sure that a fire extinguisher or buckets of water are readily within reach inside houses, offices, and schools. Learn how to use fire extinguisher.
5. Do not leave the kitchen when you are cooking.
6. Check the gas hose if it is properly installed in the tank and stove. Change damaged hose.
7. Check the gas tank before going to bed. See to it that you do not leave anything in the kitchen that would cause fire. Most fire incidents ccur at night.
8. Always turn off electric iron if you are going to do something else.
9. Follow instructions on the proper use of electric appliances.
10. Make sure that matches and lighters are out of children’s reach.
11. Do not smoke inside the bedroom especially if you are drunk.
12. Post the directory of fire stations in prominent places of the house or building for easy communication access in times of emergency.