THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Friday called on the cooperation of residents up to the barangay level to achieve fire safety.

Senior Police Officer 2 Ramil Gillado, the Deputy Chief of the investigation section during the SM Connect bi-monthly media forum held at SM Lanang Premier, said that they will conduct house to house information dissemination campaign in highly congested residential areas, especially because many in these fire-prone areas do not participate in BFP-led seminars in the barangays.

"This house-to-house is equivalent to the Tokhang of the Philippine National Police (PNP)," he said.

Gillado admitted that their seminars are taken for granted by residents, even if these were done in coordination with the barangay council chairmen.

Majority of fire incidents happen in residential areas, he said, and yet residents are apparently not vigilant about fire safety.

BFP is also not mandated to conduct house inspections, not unless requested.

On the other hand, companies need to undergo regular inspections as a BFP clearance is needed for the application and the renewal of business permits.

Around 60-70 percent of fire start from residences and majority are through electrical short circuits especially when households use appliances and wirings that are not ICC approved.

He said that P1.2 billion budget was already given by the National Government for the improvement of the fire equipment and Davao city is one of the areas which will be prioritized.

Fire incidents were higher in January and February this year compared with same period last year with 72 cases already recorded this year compared to last year's 54 cases in the same period.

Electrically energized fires are majority of the prevalent case, with 27 have cases in January-February this year which is higher compared than last year’s 24 cases in the same period.

Human element fires recorded this year is 23 which is higher compared to last years' 11 cases.

Human element fires include unattended burning, slash and burn, careless disposal of cigarette butt, carelessly lit match, lit torch, live embers unattended, conduction (hot surface contact), lit candle gasera, lit mosquito coil, incendiary device, ignited combustible flammable liquid.

On fire rescue, Gillado said that they are hopeful to have more firetrucks, higher ladders, better fire suits once budget is available.

Gillado said that it will also help if people will not spread false information during fire incidents that affect a large number of people.

Fire Officer 3 Roel John Alocelja said that Republic Act 9514 prohibits acts of spreading false information on fire incidents and is punishable with fines ranging from P4,000 to P12,500.