The Bureau of Fire Protection-Puerto Princesa City Fire Station (BFP-PPCFS) urged locals to raise their awareness of fire causes and safety practices as it kicked off the Fire Prevention Month on Wednesday.

March was declared as Fire Prevention Month in the Philippines by Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A due to an alarming spike in fire incidences during this time period.

SFO1 Mark Anthony Llacuna said that this year’s theme is “Sa pag-iwas sa sunog, hindi ka nag-iisa,” referring to fire safety not only at home, but also in public and private establishments, as well as urging the public to view fire safety as a shared responsibility.

“Kailangang alamin ang lahat na puwedeng maging sanhi ng sunog para maiwasan ito. Alamin ang behavior ng apoy upang makalikas agad ng ligtas sa kahit anung establisyemento. Dapat alamin ang lahat ng fire exits at fire fighting equipment para maagapan ang sunog. Higit sa lahat dapat may mga hotline ng fire stations,” Llacuna said.

This month, the city fire station of the BFP will engage in conducting some fire prevention activities, such as a mall and community visits for fire prevention awareness, a Fire Director’s Basketball Cup, and skills enhancement activities for its personnel.

Llacuna said since the beginning of 2022, they have already recorded 18 fire incidents, of which 10 are grassfires, two involving vehicles, and six structural.

He said structural fires can be prevented if residents use electrical wires that are of good quality, avoid overloading electrical outlets, hiring licensed electricians for installations, shutting off LPG tanks when leaving the house or after using, and avoid leaving lighted candles unattended near curtains or materials that easily catch fire.

Llacuna said the BFP-PPCFS personnel are always ready to respond to fire incidents, including having a Special Rescue Force.