Secretary Robredo calls for more vigilance on Fire Prevention Month this March

A February 27, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Interior and Local Government

As the nation observes the Fire Prevention Month on Tuesday, March 1, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo called on the Bureau of Fire Protection to be more vigilant in its fire prevention campaign to prevent unnecessary loss of lives and damage to properties similar to what happened in the Tuguegarao City fire incident in December last year and in Barangay San Roque in Navotas early this year.

Robredo said the BFP should further intensify its information and education campaign to generate the active support and participation from the public in the government’s fire safety and prevention efforts.

“While the fire bureau, with its minimal resources and equipment, is doing its best to prevent the occurrence of conflagrations, the public should do its share by ensuring that their homes are free from fire hazards and reporting violations on the Fire Code Law,” he said.

He said that the Tuguegarao and Navotas fire incidents that claimed a number of lives and damaged millions of pesos of properties should serve as a wake-up call for all of us “to always be on guard and to fireproof our surroundings.”

Citing a report from the BFP’s Intelligence and Investigation Division, Robredo said that for January 2011 alone, a total of 686 fire incidents occurred nationwide with a total of 68 casualties and damages of around P240-million of properties.

The same report noted that of the 686 fire incidents in January, majority or 512 were accidental fires, 17 were intentional, 150 are still under investigation, while seven are still undetermined, he said.

The DILG Secretary said this year’s fire prevention month celebration, which will run under the theme, “Kahandaan sa Sunog…tungo sa Kaunlaran”, will be kicked off by the simultaneous blowing of horns in all fire stations all over the country, and a motorcade to be participated in by BFP personnel, local and barangay officials and key sectors of the society.

A series of activities has also been lined up during the month which include the following: Refresher Training Course for Volunteer Fire and Disaster Control Brigades; drawing, essay writing, photo and poster making contest on fire prevention in different schools; Barangay Fire Olympics on March 14 and BFP-NCR Fire Olympics on March 25.

Fire safety inspection, hydrant testing, fire drills, caravans and Barangay Ugnayan shall also be held in the different regions of the country.

The annual observance of fire prevention month is pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 115-A signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos in 1967.