From the glaring fire frequency in Metro Cebu to the long-standing Tutuban Mall fire in Metro Manila, there is no doubt that metropolitan areas are at risk when it comes to fire hazards.
Insurance Experts Agency, a local company that specializes in fire insurances, revealed in 2009 that 90% of residential and commercial property owners are likely to face the risks associated with fire outbreak. Common causes include faulty electrical connections, unattended cooking stove, and lighted cigarette butt, among other things.
Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) might have conducted “intensified fire prevention campaign” all throughout the fire prevention month of March, but it seems like public fire awareness has been flushed away by heavy rainfall these past few months. Chances are, BFP cannot take the risks, especially when history has been reiterating that fire incidents might hit over the “ber” months, too, particularly on Christmas and New Year.
A series of December fire incidents took place in Metro Manila last year including the one that struck Guadalupe Bliss, Makati City on December 24, not to mention earlier fire incidents that had burned down homes in Baseco Compound and Muntinlupa City—all of which took place within 24 hours, according to a GMA News report.
Who could ever forget the fire that took the life of the youngest daughter of former House Speaker Jose De Venecia? On December 17, 2004, a major fire took place at the De Venecia residence that caused the death of Kristina Casimira de Venecia.
What’s more alarming from the fire incident, other than the blazing flames and thick smoke, is that BFP Makati—the most modernized fire department in the country—lacked the necessary fire fighting supplies and equipment such as asbestos suits and gas masks to better respond to the situation, according to a Manila Bulletin (MB) news report.
MB further reported that BFP has been in need of 30,000 additional firemen since June 2011. Unfortunately, it would take 60 more years to fill up the shortage with limited departmental budget allocation that can only accommodate 500 new recruits in the force every year.
In addition, the shortage of BFP resources might further fuel the ongoing Tutuban Mall fire as well as cripple our fire fighting forces in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country, regardless of their heroic efforts and intentions to extinguish fire for good.
Which now leaves us this question: If we can’t completely rely on our firefighters and their resources, what can the public do on its end to prevent fire in the household or in commercial places?
Below, we’re sharing you links to our fire, life, and safety tips from our previous stories.