Fewer fires in Jan-Feb 2019, but more deaths recorded – BFP
MANILA, Philippines — The number of fires might have dropped in the first two months of 2019, compared to the same period last year. But the number of fire-related deaths had gone up significantly, according to Chief Insp. Jude de los Reyes, spokesperson of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
In January and February this year, 67 people died in fires — a 113-percent increase compared to the more than 20 deaths recorded in the same period last year.
Most of the fires, he noted, happened at night while these people were asleep and the structures they were in happened to have been fire traps that rescuers could not enter, De los Reyes said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer AM 990 on Sunday.
“It’s really very important that the entryway to the house is clearly accessible, and if possible there should always somebody there to lead firefighters in case anyone is trapped inside,” he added, speaking in a mix of Filipino and English.
According to De los Reyes, the BFP recorded 2,269 fires in January to February this year — a 12-percent difference from the 2,577 cases recorded in the same period in 2018.
He noted that faulty electrical wiring was the most common culprit behind the fire incidents, followed by cigarette butts left still lighted.
De los Reyes appealed to the public to be more proactive when it came to fire safety.
March was declared Fire Prevention Month in 1966 by then President Ferdinand Marcos due because it was when most fires happened.
This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Month is “Ligtas na Pilipinas Ating Kamtin, Bawat Pamilya ay Sanayin, Kalaaman sa Sunog ay Palawakin” — “Let us work for a safe Philippines, train every family, spread knowledge about fire prevention.” /atm
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