We are forever grateful to the firefighters who helped last Saturday. I realized yesterday after chatting with the village security that firefighters aren't just the firemen who deal with the fire. They also include the first responders, your village security/tanod/your neighbors who call the fire station.
We've received a lot of advise the past few days on how to deal with a fire and how to prevent fire from happening in your home. Here's a list of the tips we've received the past few days:
1. At the sign of fire, immediately turn off the circuit breaker of your house. The fireman told us it was very good that Sweetie immediately turned it off.
2. Build a firewall around your house. The National Building Code provides guidelines for the firewall. Thickness of the firewall depends on the hours it should be resistive to fire. We're having ours checked since it has some damage.
3. Unplug everything when leaving your house. If taking a vacation, better to turn off your circuit breaker.
4. Don't take leaks for granted. A fire can start when your plugs/sockets get wet. We actually haven't been turning on the lights in our kitchen because of an unresolved ceiling leak.
5. Cross-check and make sure that your electrical wirings are not compromised. Make sure that the contactor that made your house did not use substandard materials.
6. Check for open wires. We sadly just discovered after getting another contractor that there are open wires around the house. Good thing we have taken precautions after suspecting that there were electrical installations that were not up to par. If you have an old house, electrical wirings and plumbings only last 40 to 50 years, so make sure to update those in your home.
7. At the sign of fire, evacuate the premises immediately and bring only essential items. We only brought my medication and important documents. Sweetie had us place important documents in one place so it's easy to grab in case of an emergency.
8. Have N95 masks on hand. I inhaled the smoke even before we knew there was a fire. Fire smoke are nasty and can ruin your lungs. Effects can come 24 to 36 hours after. I'm actually not feeling well and have set an appointment with my pulmonologist. I should have probably had myself checked by the medical personnel onsite last Saturday.
9. Have a fire extinguisher in your house. We were told though that this is only good for fire that's just starting. First responders tried to use a fire extinguisher, but the fire was too big already.
10. Have emergency numbers on hand. We're lucky we have Google to help search for emergency numbers. It's important though to have the numbers of your village first responders (barangay/village security). We were lucky that our village security OIC was a fireman, so he knew who to contact (that's why 15 firetrucks came!). They had to go to the barangay hall though since there was no one manning the fire station at the time the fire broke out.
Here are the BFP Paranaque phone numbers:
Those are the tips I could remember from the top of my head. Do share if you have other tips :)