The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will be conducting fire safety inspection this yuletide season to all establishments being used as venue for the sale, manufacture, and distribution of electric and electronic Christmas decorations, firecrackers, pyrotechnics and other materials of the same nature that Filipinos use in celebrating Christmas and New Year.

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The said inspection aimed to minimize if not put to stop incidents that may lead to fire occurrence. This is also a part of the annual project of the BFP dubbed as “OPLAN PAALALA 2014: Iwas Paputok, Sakuna at Sunog” with the theme “Nakahandang Pangalagaan Kaligtasan ng Mamamayan Ngayong Pasko at Bagong Taon”, which started today, December 15, 2014 and will last until December 27, 2014.

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“All BFP stations and personnel are on heightened alert status this holiday season and we are constantly reminding the public about the proper usage of electronic Christmas decorations and firecrackers in order for us to prevent fire incidents on these coming occasions,” BFP Officer-in-Charge CSUPT ARIEL BARAYUGA said as he made an appeal to the public not to use firecrackers during the revelry because aside from the hazard it brings to the environment as well as to the people who might be at risk of injuring themselves, it is also one of the leading causes of fire during Yuletide season.

Based on the record from the BFP Investigation and Intelligence Division (IID), the total number of Fire Incidents caused by Firecrackers/Pyrotechnics in the year 2012 and 2013 are both 43 incidents, while last Jan-Oct 2014, a total of 34 was recorded. Meanwhile, the number of casualty related to Yuletide Season as of Nov. 2011 – Jan. 2012 is five (5); Nov. 2012 – Jan. 2013 is three (3); and, Nov. 2013 – Jan. 2014 is also three (3). In terms of the total estimated cause of damage, P6.7M was recorded on Nov. 2011 – Jan. 2012; P5.7M on Nov. 2012 – Jan. 2013; and, P4.8M on Nov. 2013 – Jan. 2014.

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In order to ensure everyone’s safety, the BFP is reminding the public with the following Fire Safety tips this season; Use only lights and electrical decorations approved by DTI and those with ICC marks; Do not load wall outlets and extension cords that exceeds its capacity; Do not light candles and put it near the Christmas tree and decorations; Avoid installing Christmas light on a metal-made Christmas tree for it allows flow of electricity and may cause electrical hazard; Turn off electrical decorations before sleeping; As much as possible, use “torotot” to produce noise instead of firecrackers; Do not light or use firecrackers in crowded places; Do not buy illegal and dangerous firecrackers and lightings; Do not throw firecrackers on the roof for it may cause fire; and lastly, after the celebration, wet unexploded firecrackers.