Beware of watusis
QUEZON CITY, Philippines - The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) advised the public to abstain from the use of firecrackers and other forms of pyrotechnics this holiday season, especially in welcoming the New Year.
BFP officer-in-charge Chief Supt. Ruben Bearis Jr issued the warning to avoid not only pyrotechnics-related accidents that may cause loss of lives, but also loss of valued investments due to fire.
Bearis warned parents not to allow their children to light watusis, a popular brightly-colored firework for children, as it is lethal when swallowed and mistaken as sweets.
The Fire Bureau, in line with its “Oplan Paalala” campaign had initiated various plans to mitigate, if not totally eliminate, fire incidents and accidents caused by the use of pyrotechnics.
Firefighters are now closely monitoring -- through intensified inspections -- pyrotechnics factories and selling shops, particularly in Bulacan, to ensure that fire safety standards are strictly enforced.
Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Dr Eric Tayag also called on the public to use alternative means to celebrate the coming New Year.
“There are no safe firecrackers and children should never be allowed to play with any form of pyrotechnics,” Tayag said.
According to DOH records, there were 1,021 injuries from firecracker blasts, stray bullets and firecracker ingestion from Dec 21, 2011 to Jan 5, 2012. Four died from firecrackers and one from stray bullets.
Of the 1,021 injuries, a total of 987 were due to firecrackers while 29 were due to stray bullets. Five were caused by firecracker ingestion.
The BFP for its part has launched its Yuletide Season fire-safety infomercial advocacy campaign which is now being aired by radio and television networks and through the Internet. It can be viewed on the BFP website.
“Firefighters and employees in the BFP national headquarters are also set to troop to different shopping malls in Metro Manila to distribute fire prevention campaign leaflets, brochures, poster-calendars to shoppers to encourage them to actively participate in the safety and fire prevention program of the government,” Bearis said.
Bearis also ordered the deployment of fire trucks and firefighters to identified fire-prone areas on New Year’s eve to make sure there are quick fire-emergency responses in case fire breaks out. - Rappler.com