BFP-7 goes digital, urges public to be preventive not only responsive
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Bureau of Fire Protection Region 7 welcomes March 2021 with a theme, ‘Sa Pag-iwas sa Sunog, Hindi ka Nag-iisa’, to encourage everyone to take part not only in responding but also in preventing fires.
With this, BFP-7 goes digital in their continuous efforts in raising awareness given that people are active in all social media sites, also accounting for the pandemic.
From years 2019, 2020, there have been a significant decrease in fire incidents recorded.
With its comparative data from 2019 and 2020, they have recorded a decrease in fire incidents. In 2019, there were 1,893 incidents which went down to 918 in 2020.
The decrease in number is seen as the aftermath of today’s pandemic.
Chief Inspector Noel Nelson Ababon of BFP-7 Chief Regional Operations Division said that the pandemic had caused this decrease in number since most families were staying inside their homes.
“Usa siguro sa factor is because of the pandemic. Ang atoa man gung mga tawo, naa ra sa ilang [balay]. Stay at home man gud ang mga tawo karon, so mabantayan nila mismo ang mga activities sa ilang balay.” Ababon said.
(One of the factors, I believe, is the pandemic. Most of our people are staying in their homes. They are “Stay at Home” so they can monitor the activities in their homes.)
In 2019, the top cause of fire incidents in Central Visayas was on the open flame from rubbish fire, followed by smoking, and third was electrical ignition.
In 2020, the top cause of fire incidents was electrical ignition caused by arcing. This happened considering that Filipinos, since early 2019 till today, use lots of gadgets, especially that they are more engaged with the social media provided the pandemic.
According to Safeopedia, arcing occurs when an electric current flows through the area from one conductor to another.
“Considering siguro nga kining mga Pinoy daghan man kaayo’g mga gadgets, naa sila karon sa balay, so kanunay na lang gagamit og gadget to spend time na lang pod sa ilaha,” said Ababon.
(Considering that many Pinoys have gadgets and they are at their homes so they often use these gadgets as they spend their time at home.)
“They are utilizing kining mga gadgets so mao siguro na nga wala mawala sa ato-a ang number one cause is electrical in nature,” he said.
(They are utilizing these gadgets so this is probably the reason why our number one cause of fire incidents is electrical in nature.)
These incidents are mostly classified as accidental by the fire officials with 794 reported incidents in 2020. This is still lesser than 2019’s 1,832 accidental fire incidents.
With this, the BFP also recorded that 2020’s fatality rate on fires has decreased from 2019’s 33 casualties to 2020s 30 noted fatalities. Despite this change in data, BFP continues to remind the public of the basic fire safety tips.
Ababon also encouraged all the residents to tap them or call them first during fire alarms. Although he admitted that live updates were helpful, but residents should directly report the incident to them because they could not process and update this immediately on their end.
As they celebrate Fire Prevention Month for this year 2021, the BFP adjusts to changes given the pandemic when physical interaction is greatly prohibited.
With this, they are doubling their efforts from off the cam and off the record to live videos or online TVs shown on the FB page. This innovative plan to go digital, not only in Cebu but also in the national area, is the BFP’s effort to reach people in this new normal.
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