EDITORIAL

Upholding the Campaign on Fire Prevention

CSUPT ARIEL A BARAYUGA, DSC
Officer-in-Charge, BFP

No, it is not the welcoming of summer nor the bountiful harvest that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is getting keyed up when the month of March approaches; it is the annual observance of the Fire Prevention Month. The event serves as the epitome of the BFP; it is the time of the year that the Fire Bureau rampantly campaign towards a fire-safe and a fire-free nation.

The Fire Prevention Month is mandated by law under Proclamation No. 115-A in 1966 declaring the month of March as Safety and Prevention Year and Proclamation No. 360 in 1986 as “Burn Prevention Month”.

However, the growing number of fire incidents and casualties every year seems to be mocking the BFP. An overwhelming twelve thousand three hundred-one (12,301) fire incidents were reported in the year 2013; 15,897 in 2014; and from January 2015 to present there were already 1,848 fire incidents that has transpired.

Along with these, 244 innocent lives were lost in killer fires in the year 2013, and 263 in the year 2014. And just last week a two year old girl died after being trapped inside a burning house in Malabon.

Alas, it is not just lives that these destructive fires acquire, yearly, people are left homeless, and workers are left without a workplace. An estimated 5.5B worth of damages were recorded in the year 2013; 3.3M in the year 2014; and an estimated 411M worth of damages were already recorded since January up to present this year.

You see, these figures and incidents are not just mere sensationalizing, it is really happening in a very heartbreaking way. No matter how aggressive the BFP in campaigning against the devastating fire incidents, nightmares of words like “could have been” and “if only” still hunts them.

That innocent little girl could have been still alive if only people are knowledgeable of the fire safety guidelines that the BFP have been advocating. That jobless man could have been still working if only they are well-educated of fire prevention tips that didn’t turn his workplace into ashes.

On the other hand, in this year’s observance of the Fire Prevention Month, the BFP aims to extensively promote for a more responsible and well-informed community in order to help them combat these demoralizing fires. They are perpetually doing their part and living up to their oath as public servants, would it hurt the public to do their role in order to prevent these tragedies?

It is time that the community do their part and be vigilant enough of the blatant possibilities of fire incidents, just like this year’s Fire Prevention Month theme: “Kaligtasan sa Sunog : Alamin, Gawin at Isabuhay Natin.”

The BFP endlessly dreams of a zero fire incident. Is it too much to ask if they coax the public to dream with them?