The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) today issued the following fire safety tips following the death of seven people in an incident in Mandaluyong City and the loss of 105 houses in Cebu City over the weekend.
1. Avoid electrical overloading.
2. Unplug all electrical appliances after every use.
3. Check all electrical installations regularly.
4. Check gas stoves and LPG tanks for leaks.
5. Keep children away from flammable liquids, lighters and matches.
6. Avoid smoking in bed.
7. Ensure you have a pre-fire plan at your residence or office.
8. Do not leave lighted mosquito coils unattended.
9. Always take extra precautions while cooking.
10. Never leave lighted candles unattended.
11. Do not throw lighted cigar or cigarette butts on dried leaves and garbage.
12. Strictly obey the no smoking signs.
13. Maintain proper housekeeping to eliminate fire hazards.
14. Check fire protection gadgets or devices of appliances and equipment regularly.
15. Be fire-safety conscious.
Bought a new DVD player? Have you upgraded your television set? Then it is a good idea to upgrade the electronic connection of your home first as a precaution against fire.
Household fires are commonly triggered by the use of "wrong protection" and patronage of "substandard" appliances. Fires can still occur in houses equipped with circuit breakers especially if the homeowners do not upgrade their electrical connection.
Having a circuit breaker makes the household owners feel safe. But unknown to them, there is a need to upgrade their electrical connections once they start buying additional appliances.
"The tendency is people do not like to upgrade (when they already install circuit breakers). If their 30 ampere fuse trips because of overload, they only change it with a 60 ampere fuse which is not enough," PNRC safety services manager Benjamin Delfin said.
In upgrading the electrical connection, house owners should have their electrical wires checked "not just by any electrician but by a licensed electrician. In the event of overloading, electrical wires start to heat up. Electrical spark occurs when the wires are exposed to "fuel" and oxygen.
The three important elements that cause electrical spark are air (oxygen), fuel (paper, wood, dust etc.) and heat. Households and commercial establishments are supposed to have upgraded their electrical connections or have rewired at least every 20 to 25 years.
But it will also help if the upgrading is done as often as possible especially if the owner of the house keeps on buying more appliances.
Fire prevention tips for LPG tank users:
Place LPG cylinders in well-ventilated areas, away from ignition sources, and must not be stored in basements or cellars; For those with snap-on or bayonet-type valves, inspect the O-ring for scratches and cracks.
Check the regulator regularly and replace within three years; Connect the regulator securely to the cylinder valve; Use an "LPG-rated hose" as ordinary rubber hoses melt when used with LPG. It is recommended to replace this every two years.
Metal clamps must be used to attach the hose to the regulator and the appliance; Make sure that the burner emits a blue flame. Manufacturer's instructions should be followed to ensure the proper use and maintenance of the gas appliance.
LPG owners are reminded to make it a habit to check for leaks in their LPG systems. Soapy water applied to the hose and joints will help to detect these. If bubbles surface after application of soapy water, that signals a leakage so it must be replaced.
Always keep tanks upright. The tank must not be thrown nor rolled on its side, especially during transportation.