VIGAN CITY – The holidays is a time to enjoy barbecue parties, and fireworks. Happy moments that may ignite fire.
Keeping families safe this Christmas season and the new year is the focus of BFP Vigan City, said CINSP Nemesio Valenciano, Jr, city fire marshal. Aside from keeping the World Heritage City of Vigan’s ancestral houses fire-safe, the firefighters are going around the city’s 39 barangays literally announcing tips to prevent fire in and out households.
Following these tips will help residents become fire fighters themselves, he said. They must always be looking out for causes of fire such as unattended cooking, electric iron, improper discarding of cigarettes, octopus connection, unattended children playing matches, mosquito coils near combustible rugs, and fire- trapped windows.
Valenciano said that people doing multi-tasks in the house, cooking or ironing clothes, and at the same time, washing dishes, sweeping the floor and answering phone calls may forget there’s something cooking on the stove, or the electric iron is still plugged in.
People must focus on ironing clothes and pull off the electric iron cord when they have to do other things, he said.
Moreover, he said that cigarettes that are thrown away irresponsibly may ignite fire in bushes, thrash boxes, dry leaves, and other flammables. Keeping surroundings free of flammable things, putting things in proper places inside the house help, but smokers must be disciplined enough by strictly implementing no littering laws in all parts of the community, from the poblacion to the farthest barangays.
Placing more than three or four cables into a connecting cord multiplies the voltage of electricity and may cause fire.
Parents, guardians and adults must keep matches, lighters out of reach of children. But even then, they must always keep children under their watch. Once children are alone in the house, they tend to play and experiment many things like creating fire.
Keeping families safe from the killer dengue fever often pushes parents to use mosquito coils in the house. When unattended mosquito coils may ignite fire on rugs, papers or boxes.
Windows are sealed with iron grills to keep robbers away. But people may be trapped inside a room or house under fire. Every house or building must have fire exits to ensure safety of people living or working in them.
‘If only residents are careful in the use of electricity, cooking fuels, mosquito coils, cigarettes, matches, and other things that may ignite fire, there will be less cases of fire in the community,’ said Valenciano. (Imelda Castro-Rivero/PIA1 Ilocos Sur)
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