Anticipating fire incidents
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The big fire that hit a clothing store building in Butuan City Wednesday and snuffed out the lives of at least 18 persons underscores once more the need for more stringent inspections of structures to determine their defenses and preparedness against such tragedies.
The fire struck in the dead of night when the victims, workers in the establishments housed in the building were sleeping, giving no chance to those inside to save their lives. Only three of those who were lodged in it were able to escape, and only because they were probably lighter sleepers than the others.
Ironically, the Butuan fire occurred at a time when the Department of Interior and Local Government is trying to implement measures that have raised concern from owners of structures and commercial establishments, who have claimed that such measures would not only require major destruction of parts of their buildings, thereby rendering them unoperational for some time, but would also entail heavy expenses.
They have suggested, instead, that the new law should be imposed on those still to be constructed, or already under construction. In this they have a strong point, but what the government, represented by the DILG, could do is to require alternative but equally effective means, to ensure that proper approaches are done as soon as signs of a fire are noted.
Because of the unpredictability of the weather, that is blamed by everyone on the climate change phenomenon, it can no longer be said that people should watch out for fire incidents only during the hot months of summer. These days, fires still occur even during supposedly wet season. That is why everybody should be alert and should not ignore warnings and requirements against fires that are only intended to protect them and their loved ones.*