MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Mar. 2 (PIA) - Charity does begin at home, but so is fire safety and prevention.   This March, considered the year’s hottest month, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) ushered its Fire Prevention Month, with sounding of sirens and a unity walk around the city yesterday afternoon.

  The theme for this year’s observance centered more on the message to be fire-conscious right at the household level, as it states, in tagalog words, “Buhay at ari-arian ay Pahalagahan, Ibayong Pag-iingat ay sa Sariling Pamamahay Simulan.”   New City Fire Marshall F/Insp. Jimmy Pasague disclosed the many activities that are lined up to give emphasis on fire consciousness this month, among them a fire and earthquake drill this March 21 at Maternity hospital, the first to be conducted for a private facility complete with real patients expectedly participating.   Pasague said during the Action Center kapihan cable TV program that fire consciousness should be a daily routine and not just confined to the month of March.   In connection with the theme, Pasague said most fire incidents usually began in homes with faulty electrical wiring, overloaded circuits, neglected cooking, and untended candles, hence the way to avoid burning one’s home to the ground keep is to keep watch on these things.   Another new BFP head in the province, F/CInps. Ramil Rinos, the provincial fire marshall, revealed that records kept by their office in 2015 and 2016, as well as in the first two months of 2017, showed that residential houses were the prime source of alarms responded by their agency.   In 2015, 15 incidents were recorded for Maasin City, 9 for the rest of the province, for a total of 24, and 13 out of these 24 cases were residential;  in 2016, the fire events for Maasin were reduced to 11 cases, but for other towns increased to 14, total of 25, and 15 of them were residential.   For the first two months of this year, one fire was recorded for the city, and four for the rest of the province, in which all five cases originated in residences.  (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)