Firecracker zones to avoid accidents

The Holiday season is here again, and from December 16 to 31, the sale of firecracker and pyrotechnic products is expected to reach its peak, thanks to the Filipino tradition, which I think was borrowed from the Chinese, of making firecracker noises supposedly to drive away evil spirits, in the coming New Year.

But on many occasions during New Year’s eve celebrations, instead of driving away evil spirits, some firecracker manufacturers themselves turn demons, taking advantage of the situation, producing illegal, dangerous and powerful firecrackers.

Every end of the year, the Philippine National Police and the Department of Health embarks on a media campaign for their respective offices to remind the public of safety measures in the use of pyrotechnics and firecrackers.

Despite their campaign, many hard-headed Filipinos still fall victims in the use of powerful firecrackers.

The number one story in the various media outfits when every January first comes is the statistics on fires and those injured or killed by firecrackers.

Aside from firecrackers, the PNP had to also embark on a PR campaign against indiscriminate firing of firearms during the New Year’s eve revelry, particularly by police and military men.

In its effort to curb firecracker-related fires and injuries, the PNP for its part directed their chiefs of police nationwide to coordinate with their mayors in the establishment of firecracker zones in their AORs.

Chief Superintendent Napoleon Estilles, chief of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office, says both the PNP and DOH’s campaigns were meant to ensure a hassle-free Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Many Filipinos who cannot resist using illegal and powerful firecrackers during the holidays should always be kept reminded on public safety due to the dangers they face when using them, he said.

The PNP FEO, Estilles said, has initiated the conduct of seminars on proper handling, manufacturing and storing of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices to avoid accidents.

Vimie Erese, owner of St. Michael Fireworks and president of the Phil. Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers Association, Inc. (PPMDAI), said one of these seminars will be conducted this coming Tuesday (December 14) at the Hiyas Convention in Malolos City.

She advised the public to buy firecrackers and pyrotechnic products only from licensed and reputable manufacturers and dealers to avoid getting defective products that usually cause injuries and other accidents.

At present, there are only 50 licensed firecracker manufacturers and 243 dealers, many of them based in Bulacan.

In order to avoid buying inferior or defective firecracker and pyrotechnic products, Estilles urged the public to buy only products with Department of Trade and Industry seal/markings to ensure its safety and determine liability if their products fail.

“I am also urging the members of the PPMDAI to police their ranks and the public to report to us manufacturers who sell illegal, powerful and dangerous firecracker products,” he said.


For feedback and comments, please email me at Romie Evangelista

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