172 blazes reported in first five days of Fire Prevention Month
In the first five days of Fire Prevention Month, a total of 172 fires broke out around the country, mostly in Metro Manila.
To keep the cases down, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) issued on Tuesday safety tips while reminding everyone that fire safety was everyone’s responsibility, particularly since negligence was one of the most common causes.
At the start of Fire Prevention Month, BFP spokesperson Supt. Joanne Vallejo urged everyone to be responsible for keeping their surroundings safe from fire.
Among the BFP’s tips was to never leave anything cooking on the stove, particularly food being fried. “If you notice that cooking oil in a frying pan is starting to emit smoke, turn off the stove and allow it to slightly cool down before starting to cook. In case what you are frying goes up in flames, you should not douse it with water and simply place a wet cloth or rag over it.”
Homeowners must always check liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks and hoses for leaks and ensure tank regulators are closed before they leave their houses or go to sleep.
In case an LPG hose catches fire, the burning area must be covered with a wet cloth and the regulator quickly closed.
Another tip is to never leave lighted candles unattended. According to the BFP, lit candles must be immediately put out after use and placed in areas where they are easy to spot. Paper, plastic or wood should not be used as candle stands.
As for electrical connections, the BFP said that “among the main causes of fire were (power) overloading, open and worn electrical wires, loose switches, overheated wires and plugs, and dirt or dust that get inside electrical outlets.”
Faulty electrical connections should be repaired while defective appliances must not be used, it added. Electrical connections should also be inspected by a licensed electrician every four years.
In case of fire, the BFP said the first thing that should be done was to alert other people and to find the emergency exit. A fire extinguisher may be used to put out small fires but in case of a big blaze, evacuation must be done immediately and the best way to go through thick smoke is to crawl toward the exit. “Leave. Do not go back. Your life is precious more than anything else,” the BFP stressed.
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