In 1998, a group of university friends witnessed a very big ship burning with its full capacity of fuel close to the seaport of Beirut. After knowing that the big losses leading to this tragedy were due to unawareness and malpractice and thus, could have easily been prevented, friends and parents of some victims joined efforts and decided to establish a national non-profit organization (NGO) to make the Lebanese people aware of the dangers of fires on public safety and of the necessity to observe practices known to prevent such hazards and related tragic consequences. As such, they founded the Lebanese Fire Prevention Committee (LFPC) in 1998 with the aims to counter the wide spread problem of fire accidents and related injuries and losses in Lebanon (domestic fires, forest fires, industrial fires, and fires in buildings), to spread fire prevention awareness, to advocate protection of environmental resources, and to boost networking among various parties concerned with public safety and fire protection i.e. secure effectiveness of solutions to problems arising from fires.
Since 1999, the LFPC has been involved in the protection of human lives and the environment through organizing and participating in activities related to different fire safety in several countries. These endeavors include:
Fire safety interventions for more than 50,000 students spread over the different regions of Lebanon to promote fire safety and injury prevention.
Organizing a bi-annual nationwide student competition for fire related drawings, songs and poems to which the organization received thousands of submissions. The outstanding ones were exhibited during LFPC’s National Fire Prevention Conferences.
Disseminating specialized educational programs for school-aged children (since 2000).
Giving lectures for the military service and university students on fire hazards, ways to avoid them and essential measures to take in case of injury (since 2000).
Since fire safety has never been addressed before in Lebanon, LFPC’s ongoing campaigns have shown increased public awareness about fire safety issues. In addition, LFPC has received a lot of feedback from parents who have changed their unsafe habits. To this day the LFPC remains one of the very few organizations to advocate and lobby for fire safety in the whole of the Middle East region. After eight years of activism now, LFPC has around 100 members from different backgrounds. Among them are survivors of fire incidents, family members of fire victims, physicians, engineers, public health professionals, lawyers, dentists, safety professionals, university and school students, interested public and others.
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