EDITORIAL| Business permits and safety

IT IS now the time of year for the renewal of business permits. Business establishments are again scrutinized by the government if their business is up to par or compliant with the existing policies and codes.

Among the requirements for the issuance of a business permit is the Fire Safety / Inspection Permit and the Electrical Inspection Certificate. With the tragedy that happened last Dec. 23, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) vowed to scrutinize fire code violations at this time.

Supt. Jerry Candido, multi-agency anti-arson task force spokesperson, said this won’t affect the ease of applying for a business renewal permit.

The fire that consumed NCCC Mall, according to initial investigations released by the BFP, showed lapses in the implementation of the Fire Code by the mall and the call center SSI. This resulted to the recommendation for the relief of the City Fire Marshal and three other fire officers by the task force formed to investigate the mall fire.

This is the best opportunity for the BFP to look into old structures that may be fire hazards, especially those structures used as boarding houses. Fire safety measures in boarding houses protect the owner and the boarders from the risks in case of a fire emergency. Ensuring that these safety measures do work is as important as seeing to the sturdiness of the infrastructure.

We have learned the hard way. Even in our own houses and work places, we should review our fire safety plan or an escape plan showing where to exit during an emergency. This should be posted in doors or places easily seen by people. Fire safety measures such as smoke alarms, evacuation lighting, fire extinguishers and other devices are crucial, as we have learned from the mall fire, in helping people run to safety.

At this time of renewal of business permits, entrepreneurs should not only, by rote, think of fulfilling tax and health requirements but also consider fire safety requirements of their workplace. And the BFP should really do its best in inspecting the establishments.

We do not want another tragedy of this magnitude to happen to our city.


Posted in Opinion