Fire Prevention Month: BFP to carry out house-to-house, storytelling on fire safety

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Activities of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for the Fire Prevention Month this year will involve school children and barangays.

In a press release on Tuesday (March 1), the BFP said that it will have a storytelling session with kids and a house-to-house as part of its month-long fire safety awareness campaign.

To promote fire safety awareness to elementary school children, the BFP will conduct a storytelling of the book Berong Bumbero sa Paaralan from March 3 to 9.

The BFP added that it will invite school children to attend lectures on the basic use of firefighting equipment and importance of fire safety.

Pre-fire planning will also be held in communities with identified fire-prone areas to strengthen the preparedness of barangays. Establishments will also be inspected, which will include the testing of fire hydrants and emergency evacuation planning.

A house-to-house information drive will also be conducted to help households carry out their own safety measures, fire escape plan, and exit drill in the home or EDITH. They will also be taught how to use a fire extinguisher.

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"The observance of Fire Prevention Month is an annual activity which we have been observing for the past 50 years, since the Presidential Proclamation 115-A was declared by then President Ferdinand Marcos," BFP chief Dir. Ariel Barayuga said.

"[T]he BFP continuously commits to serve and ensure your safety. With the increasing number of fire incidents every year, we unceasingly make an appeal that we should work hand-and-hand to have a fire safe nation. Let us all make fire safety our everyday way of life," he added.

Aside from the information drive and the fire safety awareness campaign, the BFP will also implement fire truck visibility, where a built-in public address system is installed in the fire truck to broadcast fire safety reminders.

BFP stations and personnel were also placed on heightened alert status this month, which means that all applications for leave will be cancelled to ensure operational readiness.

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Regional offices and fire stations will conduct a refresher training course to all volunteer fire brigades and barangay disaster control brigades on March 10, while fire stations will be open to the public from March 11 to 15.

Other activities for this month include the "Takbo Laban sa Sunog," a nationwide fun run on March 5, among others.

New equipment

The grant contract signing between the BFP and the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines was also held on Tuesday. The Japanese government will donate seven ambulances, 10 fire trucks, and a rescue truck to various local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas region.

According to last year's data of the BFP, some 17,138 fire incidents were recorded nationwide. Out of these, 16.7 percent or 2,868 happened in March. A lower number was recorded in 2014 with 15,897 fire incidents.

Meanwhile, 2,571 fire incidents were recorded nationwide as of February this year. More than 600 of them happened in Metro Manila.

For 2014 to 2015, the BFP found that the three top causes of fires were electrical connections, open flame due to torches, and lighted cigarette butts.