An “alarming” state has been seen in Filipino homes, with only 17 percent adopting fire safety systems compared to the 97 percent adoption by commercial buildings, according to a recent survey on fire hazards and security.
Honeywell, an international manufacturer of electronic security and life safety technologies for buildings and homes, has released its survey on fire security, sourcing 500 respondents who or reside near airports, hospitals, shopping malls, corporate offices or hotels in Metro Manila.
While all commercial buildings are required by the government to adopt fire alarm systems, homes do not have this regulation, making them exposed to fire threats.
According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), more than 17,000 fires were recorded last year, causing P3 billion in damages nationwide.
“The low adoption of fire safety systems in Filipino homes is alarming. Fire is one of the top threats people face, yet their homes are largely unprotected and there are no existing regulations to drive change,” Harish Vellat, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Security and Fire for Asia Pacific, said.
“And 3 percent of commercial buildings are still without the required fire alarm systems, highlighting opportunity for better enforcement. Building owners need to protect workers and consumers by complying with government regulation,” he added.
According to the survey, nine out of 10 Filipinos — 84 percent of the 500 respondents — consider fire as the second top threat to physical safety, trailing behind earthquakes (91 percent of the total respondents).
Aside from fire and earthquakes, other top threats to physical safety are building collapses (69 percent), terrorism (64 percent) and floods (33 percent).
Some 92 percent of the commercial buildings regularly test their fire systems, while 83 percent conduct fire safety training.
The survey also pointed out that 77 percent of the respondents are aware of the fire exit locations in their work place.
The survey participants identified four ways to address threats to physical safety, which include stronger regulations, better enforcement, usage of latest technologies and the importance of increasing public awareness about safety.
“With government-led initiatives such as the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, we are confident in the growth outlook of the Philippines. Honeywell’s survey shows a strong need for better fire and security technology, and supports the government’s focus on expanding infrastructure development. The US is committed to supporting the advancement of the Philippines in this area,” American Chamber of Commerce President Rick Santos said.
Honeywell Security and Fire is a global maker of electronic security and life safety technologies for commercial buildings, industrial sites and homes worldwide.