Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, December 20, 2013 (PIA) – Fire fighters urge parents to make sure they oversee their kids playing with noisemakers, especially those that use fire.
Alarmed at the current kiddie craze of using improvised fire ignited alcohol noisemakers (boga), gas cannons which are the modern version of the bamboo cannons, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) warn, better safe than sorry.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA while raising asking parents to keep their kids from firecrackers and pyrotechnics during the Christmas and New Year’s revelry, Provincial Fire Marshall Nepumoceno Dangoy and City Fire Marshal Manases Bautista suggest the use of harmless noisemakers instead.
Christmas and New Year celebrations in the Philippines can hardly be separated from fireworks, firecrackers and pyrotechnics, which have also been largely the source of accidents, several involving minors and those who had alcohol during the celebrations.
In Bohol, even tots have been seen toting improvised gas cannons, milk cans taped on ends, PVV pipes, soda cans or paint cans with lighter igniters and using denatured alcohol or lighter fluids, or compressed gas as fuel.
“The greater risk is that children also take aim with the cannons, bringing their eyes close to the igniters,” Fire Superintendent Dangoy shared to listeners of the weekly government radio program aired live over DyTR.
Alcohol is already flammable, and when you increase the atmospheric pressure of the cannon chamber, you will have ignition, but when you have a flimsy cannon bottom or an oversized chambers, the higher is the risk that it explodes in your face, Dangoy warns.
Kids get excited with firecrackers, but it is the role of parents to supervise the merrymaking, the provincial fire marshal reminds.
Also, Fire inspector Manases Bautista asked people who love to celebrate and those who could not refrain from playing with firecrackers to make sure that these are the legal types of explosive noisemakers.
The BFP has in its website the list of banned firecrackers, many of which have caused deaths or injuries due to experimental sizes by manufacturers to create the loudest boom.
Among the newest most notoriously produced firecrackers are Yolanda, Santi (named after super typhoons) Napoles, Bin Laden, plapla, superlolo, watusi, piccolo, atomic bomb, trianggulo, Lolo Thunder, Mother Rocket (as opposed to Baby Rocket), bawang, kwitis and other odd names like goodbye Philippines.
These often find their way via transient vendors who carry their wares, obviously to skip getting permits.
In the event that exploding firecrackers can’t be stopped, at least parents can explain to their kids tips in handling firecrackers, Bautista said.
First, kids should not be allowed to handle firecrackers, parents must be responsible for their kids, Bautista read from a tip list.
Other than that, he also warned against groggy individuals from handling firecrackers and explosives, to avert accidents. Alcohol and fireworks is a dangerous combination, he said.
Do not use firecrackers in cramped spaces, a clear and open place is ideal, while keeping a ready pail of water to control fires is a necessity, according to BFP authorities.
Inspector Bautista also shared that selling of explosive firecrackers are regulated, only those who have acquired the proper permits from the City Mayor’s Office are allowed to sell them.
He said the Mayor’s Office will seek the BFP clearance before it allows business establishments to operate.
But Buatista clearly pointed out that apart from the mainstream pyrotechnics dealers, there has not been any establishment in the city permitted to sell firecrackers.