On Friday, the “Jornal de Notícias” (JN) reported that the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) delivered seventy thousand smoke collars, included in fire relief kits, under the “Safe Village – Safe People” program. .

The same newspaper wrote that they were collars made of flammable material and without anti-carbonization treatment, which provoked a series of criticisms to ANEPC and the Government, which paid 125 thousand euros for the smoke-free collars. The case has already prompted the Ministry of Internal Affairs to open an urgent inquiry into what happened. Understand what is happening with these quick answers.

The problem with the controversial kit, which serves as a first aid to the emergence of fires rather than combat, is that it includes a polyester smoke collar that will not have the expected effectiveness: preventing smoke inhalation through a filter effect. In addition to ineffectiveness, the collar material is flammable and uncarbonised.

One company from Fafe, Braga district, Foxtrot Aventura, and another from Arouca, Brain One – both contacted by ANEPC and made the collar and the kit..

Foxtrot Aventura sold a total of 15,000 kits and 70,000 collars in June 2018. According to the news, anti-smoking collars cost 125,000 euros. In his defence, a Fafe company official considered merchandising and that ANEPC did not refer to Foxtrot Aventura that the equipment “would be used in scenarios involving fire”.

On the same day that the complaint was reported, the Civil Protection stated that the materials distributed are not for firefighting or for individual protection, but for raising awareness of good practices.

In a statement, ANEPC recalled that the programs “derive from the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 157-A / 2017, of 27 October, and aim to empower the populations to strengthen the security of people and goods by adopting self-protection measures and simulations to local evacuation plans”.

First, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said that the news about the smoke-free collars with flammable material distributed under the Safe Villages program had been “irresponsible and alarmist”.

However, Eduardo Cabrita had an urgent inquiry opened on Saturday on the hiring of fire-fighting material following news about smoke-resistant collars with flammable material distributed under the Safe Villages program.

“In light of the published news on contractual aspects of the awareness-raising material, the Minister of Internal Affairs asked the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority for clarification and called for an urgent inquiry into the Inspectorate General of Internal Administration,” read a communiqué of the guardianship.

This Monday, July 29, the Assistant Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Francisco José Ferreira, resigned after assuming his responsibility in choosing the companies that eventually awarded the manufacture of 70,000 flammable smoke collars.

The contracts in question were coordinated by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, under the guidance of Francisco José Ferreira, leader of the PS / Arouca who, before joining the Government, was a baker in a pastry shop in Vila Nova de Gaia, owned by his brother. Francisco José Ferreira, 30, with his 12th grade, was appointed to the Government in December 2017.

Indeed, ANEPC received today the Preliminary Report containing the results of the test carried out on the mentioned “collars”, by the Centre for Forest Fire Studies, coordinated by Professor Dr. Domingos Xavier Viegas.

Without prejudice to the availability of ANEPC and the test coordinator for clarification, the following conclusion is drawn: “(…) the collars tested did not ignite – that is, they did not ignite with flame – even when subjected to a very high intensity heat flux produced by flames ranging in height from one to four meters, even when placed less than 0.5m from the flames for more than one minute.” Source Economic Jornel)