MANILA—Eighteen fire trucks, 12 water tankers, and thousands of trained emergency responders nationwide—the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on full alert 24/7 to respond to fire incidents that are expected to come out this fire season.
March marks the beginning of the summer season in the Philippines and, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the biggest number of fire incidents are usually recorded on said month.
This year’s Fire Prevention Month theme, “Buhay at Ari-arian ay Pahalagahan, Ibayong Pag-iingat sa Sunog ay sa Sariling Pamamahay Simulan,” reflects the BFP’s commitment to raise public awareness about the importance of fire prevention.
“As we always say, prevention is key when it comes to fire safety,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said. “But it’s also smart to make sure that all members of your household know what to do in case there’s a fire emergency.”
Below are PRC-recommended tips on how to reduce risks in case of fire:
- Make sure every member of the household knows where the fire escape is.
- Agree on a meeting place at a safe distance from the home.
- Teach everyone at home how to use a fire extinguisher.
- If smoke, heat, or flames are blocking your exit route, stay in the room with the door closed.
- If you can, move close to a window and wave something bright (a flashlight, glow stick, or a brightly colored cloth) to signal for help.
- If you haven’t already called the fire department, call them once you make it to safety.
“Fire is preventable,” said PRC Secretary General Oscar Palabyab. “But it pays to be aware of fire survival tips, especially during the summer, when most fire incidents unfortunately occur.”
“Since January 2017, the PRC has helped out in 38 fire incidents in National Capital Region (NCR),” added Gordon. “Besides the water tankers, rescue trucks, and volunteers, the PRC also provides other assistance, such as food and non-food items, and psychosocial support to displaced families in evacuation centers.”
The Philippine Red Cross has been responding to fire emergencies since 2009, when the Japanese government donated 12 fire trucks to Chairman Gordon for the PRC.
For more information, you may visit www.redcross.org.ph or call local hotline 143.