Cops seize P1M firecrackers, warn fatal fires caused by revelry blasts rising | Inquirer News

Cops seize P1M firecrackers, warn fatal fires caused by revelry blasts rising

'Cracker-related fires have killed 3, injured 7, destroyed P9.5M in properties - PNP
By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 08:38 PM December 31, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — While so far, no one has been killed in directly handling a firecracker in 2015, the Philippine National Police said firecrackers have set off fires that have killed and injured people, as well as destroyed many homes.

In its report released to the media on Thursday, the Bureau of Fire Protection showed 56 firecracker-related fires nationwide in 2015, leaving three people dead, seven people injured, and P9.5 million worth of damage to properties.

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The Philippine National Police, based on a separate report on Thursday, has monitored 85 injuries due to firecrackers since Dec. 16.

The BFP, which has been on red alert since Dec. 28 for firecracker-related fires, has been pushing for the total ban of pyrotechnics. In a recent statement, BFP director Ariel Barayuga said: “We appeal to the public not to use any firecrackers or fireworks. For their own safety, they can use an alternative way to celebrate Christmas and New Year, such as horns or cooking pots.”

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Barayuga pointed out even legal pyrotechnics had “the same bad effects to the environment and community” as they contained chemicals that could easily spark or ignite.

The PNP has already confiscated more than P1 million worth of firecrackers over the holidays, in less than a month and even before the New Year revelries.

From Dec. 16 to Dec. 31, the PNP has confiscated P1.08 million worth of firecrackers, ranging from the usual suspects such as the “Super Lolo,” “Judas Belt,” “Goodbye Philippines” or piccolo, to newly named ones like “Hello Colombia,” obviously a reference to the recently concluded Miss Universe pageant.

Under Republic Act 7183, which regulates the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, the allowable explosive content in firecrackers has been pegged at 0.2 grams or 1/3 teaspoon, said Chief Insp. Soledad Arciso, chief of the licenses and permits section of the PNP.

But this year, most of the confiscations were actually due to improper labeling or due to unauthorized manufacturers, Arciso said, in a phone interview on Thursday.

“If the firecracker is big, we assume it contains a lot [of explosive content],” Arciso said. “But the first thing we look for when we conduct inspections is if they have permits, license [to sell]. If that’s okay, we check if the products they sell are from legal manufacturers.”

Arciso said firecrackers should contain the name of manufacturers, instructions for use, and warnings, which should be written in both English and Filipino.  SFM

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TAGS: allowable explosive content, Ariel Barayuga, Bureau of Fire Protection, damage to property, Distribution, Fire, fire casualties, fire fatalities, fire injuries, firecracker injuries, Firecrackers, fireworks, Laws, manufacture, New Year, new year revelry, New Year's celebration, News, Philippine National Police (PNP), pyrotechnic devices, Regulation, Republic Act 7183, sale, Soledad Arciso
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