UNDER Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A, March has been declared "Fire Prevention Month" because of the "alarming increase of fire incidents happening across the country during this particular period."
The Bureau of Fire Protection takes the lead in implementing a variety of programs and information campaigns that would promote fire safety.
In a SunStar Davao report on March 8, 2023, the BFP-Davao has already recorded 12 fire incidents between March 1 to 7. That is roughly two fire incidents per day.
BFP-Davao spokesperson and chief of Intelligence and Investigation Section Ramil Gillado said a majority of the incidents were residential fires.
To date, the biggest fire incidents in March were the fire at a two-story building at Sta. Ana corner Bangoy Street on March 6, which has an estimated damage cost of around P3 million, and the fire at the Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church in Barangay 24-C on March where damage was estimated at P1 million based on initial investigations.
Fires, which are usually accidents, are incidents that can still be prevented.
Hence, this year's theme, "Sa Pag-iwas sa Sunog, ‘di ka Nag-iisa (You are not alone in preventing fires)", is just about right.
The theme highlights the importance of working together as a community in preventing fires from happening. As a result, this prevents the loss of life and property.
“Kung unsa man ang makita nato na delikado or maka-cause og sunog, atong badlungon and i-correct. Kay sama sa nahitabo sa Barangay 21-C na nakita nato nga isa ra ka balay ang gisugdan pero daghan ang nadamay (We should intervene when we see activities that could potentially start a fire to avoid what happened in Brgy. 21-C wherein the fire started in one house but immediately spread out to others),” Gillado said. Prior to March, a big fire razed around 1,200 houses in barangays 21-C and 22-C on February 25.
Since several of the fires are due to electrical glitches, City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) chief retired PCol. Alfredo Baloran also reminded Dabawenyos to be extra careful when charging their equipment or devices.
“Kung mugamit mo og gadget, appliances ginasaksak, bantayan kanunay. Bantayan nila mga cellphones ug power banks. Kung init ang charger naay diperensya. Kung muinit dili na gyud gamiton (If you use gadgets, or appliances are plugged in, always keep an eye on them. They should watch their cellphones and power banks when charging. If the charger is hot there is a difference. If it heats up, it should not be used at all),” Baloran said.
This Fire Prevention Month, residents of Davao City are reminded of their responsibility in ensuring their safety and of others from fires. This can be done by equipping ourselves with knowledge on fire prevention or learning this from firemen. Every bit of knowledge will go a long way in ensuring that our homes are safe, as well as that of our family and property.