On November 17, 1966, President Ferdinand Marcos officially proclaimed March as Fire Prevention Month in the Philippines. That was 50 years ago, in case you bother with milestones. Needless to say, this month is that time of the year when this country is particularly cautious when it comes to fire hazards.
The fact that the most powerful person of the land had to issue a proclamation designating an entire month to observe fire prevention, should tell us that the issue of fire risks is pretty serious across the archipelago. We're a tropical territory after all, making structures more prone to a conflagration.
We don't know if it's just plain ignorance or, worse, flat-out indifference, but we still see car owners seeming to be oblivious to this fact. We're talking about the stupid disregard for fire hydrants, as you can see in the photo above. Now that we think about it, do some people (particularly the millennials) still even know what a fire hydrant is (never mind what one looks like)?
Guys, always take fire hydrants seriously--even if you feel the chances of a fire breaking out in the area are like the odds of Alma Moreno getting elected as a senator. Then again, who knows? Which is exactly why we shouldn't take chances and, um, play with fire.
And if a fire does occur and your car is blocking access to a fire hydrant, be informed that firefighters are well within their rights to smash your vehicle's windows or do whatever it takes to get to much-needed water supply.
If you know anyone who is unaware of the importance of keeping fire hydrants accessible all the time, please share this gentle reminder. It's the least you can do for Fire Prevention Month.
Photo from Ian Jasper Molina