EMERGENCY situations choose no time and place. It just happens. Last Monday, February 15, 2021, Davao City woke up to a very unfortunate and grim news. Four children aged 5 to 19 years old died in a fire that engulfed their house in Phase 1, Laverna Hills, Barangay Cabantian, Davao City.
The parents of the children were not around as they needed to travel to Manay, Davao Oriental for business transactions. However, they were scheduled to be home dawn of February 15. Only the 16-year-old child and a helper were able to get out of the house as the fire quickly grew.
As said, emergency situations come without warning but with sad news like this, we are allowed to double check our houses and wish nothing close to this tragedy would happen to us.
In Davao City, many of the young working professionals live in rented rooms, apartments, and boarding houses. Many of them also are far from the comforts of their childhood homes and have been transferring from one boarding house to another.
To ensure that young renters know what to do in times of emergency, or better yet to avoid unfortunate emergencies from happening, we interviewed Rescue Volunteer Firefighter/Emergency Medical Service staff Christian Serrano to give us tips and do's and don'ts based on his own experiences doing rescue missions in Davao City. He serves at Filipino-Chinese Firefighters Foundation Davao.
1. When looking for a boarding house or a room for rent, what are the safety signs to look for?
"Una nilang pangitaon ang fire safety inspection certificate gikan sa Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) or ang Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC). Dira mahibal-an na kana na boarding house na check mismo sa mga taga BFP ug updated ila certification pasabot safe kana ug na tuman sa safety standards."
2. What are your tips for young renters to help them avoid fire from happening in their house or any other unfortunate incidents?
"Always nila huna-hunaon na ang sunog pwede mahitabo anytime anywhere. So likayan ang mga butang na maka cause sa sunog sama sa mga nakasaksak na mga gamit. If wala gigamit, ibton. Mga naga-malfunction na electrical equipment, ayaw na gamita. Mga putol-putol na wire na gi kabit-kabit lang ug gi-tape, ayaw na gamita. I-off pirmi ang gas tank if wala gi-gamit."
3. In your experience, what are the usual causes of fire in boarding houses?
"Aside sa namention na nako sa previous question, usually short circuit. Usahay pud faulty wirings and sa also pagluto."
4. What should someone who lives alone keep in mind should an unfortunate incident such as fire happen? What should they do while waiting for rescue?
"Number 1 gyud ana is don't panic kay once mag-panic ka ma blanko gyud ka.
"So akong ma-advise mintras wala pay emergency nahitabo, pag practice na mo daan ug unsaon pag gawas, pag eskapo sa balay ug mag ka sunog. Kasagaran fatalities kay managan sa CR kay kuno naay tubig, which is mali kaayo.
"Number 1 cause of death is due to smoke inhalation. If mapaso man ka first, second or third degree burn kay ni suong ka sa sunog, naa pa ka chance mabuhi. Cover inyong ilong og tela na medyo basa. Ayaw basa kaayo. Cover inyong lawas pud og basa na tela. Kung sa lawas, pwede kanang gatulo sa kabasa. Pero pag na trap ka ampo, na lang gyud daan.
"If maka-notice mo og aso or sunog, call for help. If wala imo cellphone, syagit pahibalo sa tanan na naay emergency. Imemorize ninyo pila ka pirtahan padulong sa exit gikan sa inyo kwarto. Pa wala ba o pa tuo. Kay once naa nay sunog, sobra na kangitngit ug kainit. Walay lain maka tabang sa imo kung di ang imong sarili sa panahon na na.
"Ug di ta makalimot mag ampo bago ma tulog na ilayo ta sa Ginoo sa disgrasya."