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BFP pushes for a zero-fire-incident, zero-casualty policy.

CITY OF ILOILO – As Fire Prevention Month begins on Tuesday, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is urging the public to be “fire aware” in order to avert mishaps and deaths.

Motorcades led by fire stations in their respective municipalities honored the occasion around the province.

In an interview, BFP province director Fire Supt. Christopher Regencia noted that, in the midst of the pandemic, the bureau is raising the alarm, expecting to accomplish the goal of zero fire incidents and casualties.

In the province of Iloilo, the BFP recorded 783 fire cases in 2020, with losses totaling PHP63.17 million, and 532 in 2021, with property losses totaling PHP105.32 million.

“The instances (in 2021) were smaller since the individuals were confined to their houses owing to the health pandemic,” Regencia explained.

The fire that burned the public market of Oton municipality on December 20 caused further damage last year.

In the first two months of the year, 159 fires were reported, resulting in damages of more than PHP16.6 million.

In the last two years, the BFP has recorded 14 deaths: eight in 2020 and six in 2021.

In 2020, 25 civilians and four firefighters were injured, compared to 18 civilians the previous year.

Regencia stated that in the event of a fire, the affected household may put out the fire while it is still in its early stages, but once it has progressed, they should escape promptly to protect their lives.

“The fire has escalated to the point where over half of the home has been burned, and there is no way to put it out with (the) bucket brigade, especially because the BFP is not yet present,” he said.

In the meantime, BFP-Iloilo joined the nationwide simultaneous blaring of sirens at noon, in addition to the motorcade.

The BFP will bring together selected students from various schools on March 4 for poster-making and essay-writing competitions.

“Our personnel will provide some fire prevention suggestions with them during the competition,” he said.

The BFP will open its stations and put on a static display of its firefighting capabilities to enhance public knowledge of the bureau’s work in fire prevention and awareness, according to Regencia.

Simultaneous fire drills and probable symposiums in selected barangays are also planned.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Sa Pag-iwas sa Sunog Hindi ka Nag-iisa!”

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