BFP intensifies fire safety inspection

The Puerto Princesa City Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is intensifying its fire safety inspection this holiday season on establishments that sell electronic Christmas decorations, pyrotechnic devices, and firecrackers.

Senior Fire Officer 1 Allan Asil said Monday to Palawan News that they are conducting their monitoring twice a day daily, every morning and afternoon.

The regular inspections, he said, will be until the end of Christmas and New Year celebrations.

“Mostly ang concern natin [ay] fire safety para maging ligtas ang ating mga mamimili maging ang ating mga retailers. Kailangan maging ligtas tayo sa sunog kasi ito ‘yong pinakamasayang panahon para sa atin (Mostly, our concern is the fire safety of the consumers or buyers and our retailers. We need to be safe from fire to be completely happy this season),” Asil said.

Asil said the establishments engage in the selling of items under the identified product categories should have fire extinguishers and prepared water in a drum.

He said they also make sure that the firecrackers being sold are not those which are banned.

“May mga requirements tayong nire-require sa kanila tulad ng mga fire extinguisher, tubig [na nakahanda sa drum]. Tinitingnan din natin ‘yong mga ibinebenta nila kung ito ba ay puwede o hindi (We have requirements for them to obey like a fire extinguisher and water prepared in a drum)” Asil stated.

He noted these inspections “aim to have a fire-free yuletide season” by minimizing the possible incidents that may lead to fire occurrences.

Fire Officer 1 James Brandon De Jesus in a separate interview also said this activity is part of their year 2018 project dubbed as “Oplan Ligtas Mamamayan” which consists two themes: “Masaya Sana ang Kapaskuhan kung Sunog ay Iiwasan” and “Sa Bawat Paputok na Nasisindihan, Kasunod ay Kapahamakan.”

On the other hand, Asil said they observed only minimal violations this year on those who sell firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

He said the BFP is in coordination with the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) in strictly monitoring three firecracker dealers and around 15 retailers all over the city.

Asil said among those preventive measures they require for stalls used to sell firecrackers and pyrotechnics are the “warning signages, fire extinguishers, and prepared barrels of water.

“Although may mga permit na kasi ang mga ‘yan, kaya lang kailangan din nating i-monitor kasi may nakakaligtaan ‘yong ating mga retailer diyan. ‘Yong mga nagbebenta ang gusto lang nila ay kumita pero ‘yong safety minsan ay na-co-compromise (Although they have permits, we still need to monitor because some retailers also forget. The sellers sometimes just want to earn but in the process, they compromise safety),” said Asil.

He added that aside from their daily inspections, the BFP also regularly administers fire prevention information drives by handing flyers and leaflets to the public, particularly in crowded areas.

Asil also reminded the public to use only electrical decorations approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ensure the safety of everyone.

He reiterated the consumers must buy only those lights and electrical decorations with Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) and Philippine Standard (PS) marks and stickers.

“Kapag ganitong yuletide season, talagang busy ang ating mga kababayan. Kung minsan ‘yong fire safety nako-compromise, [at] nagkakaroon ng sunog. Sa ating mga kababayan, kung tayo man po ay aalis ng bahay, para makaiwas sa sunog, lahat ng ating mga appliances dapat i-unplug natin [ganoon din] sa ating pagtulog ‘yong ating mga ilaw i-switch off natin. Kapag nag-brown out, ang mga kandila huwag nating ilalagay sa may malalapit na kurtina na madaling magliyab,” Asil elaborated.

(During the yuletide season, people are really busy. Sometimes, they compromise fire safety and fire happens. We call on our residents to unplug their appliances when they are leaving their homes and likewise when we sleep, let’s switch off our lights. If there is brownout, let’s not leave our candles near curtains that easily catch fire),” he said.

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