With close to 100 fire cases in early March, DILG urges the public to be vigilant
With 94 fire incidents in just the first four days of the Fire Prevention Month this March 2022, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged the public to be more vigilant in exercising fire safety protocols to prevent damage to properties and loss of lives.
“We are just four days in the Fire Prevention Month but we have close to 100 cases already. We remind our kababayans to be vigilant in this uptick of fire incidents and do their shared responsibility in keeping these unfortunate fires from happening,” said Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
“Tulong-tulong po tayo, ‘yan po ang aming mensahe ngayong Fire Prevention Month. Prevention starts in homes and establishments,” he added.
Año said that based on the latest data of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), 94 fire incidents have been recorded nationwide on March 1-4, 2022 incurring more than P20.4-million worth of damage to properties and killing seven individuals nationwide. But he said that this number is smaller compared to the incidents tallied last year in the same period which was 161.
For March 1-4, 68 percent or 64 fire incidents were classified as accidental while two fire cases were intentional; two were natural; and, one was due to negligence. Twenty-five incidents are currently under investigation.
The DILG Chief said that in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, 12 fire incidents have been recorded by the BFP in the same period of four days gathering more than P500,000 worth of damage to properties with most cases happening in single to two-family dwelling occupancies.
“Nakikita natin na ang trend ayon sa mga datos ay accidental ang mga dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng sunog kaya malaking bagay na maipaalala sa ating mga kababayan na malaki ang kanilang tungkulin sa pagsugpo sa pagdami ng kaso ng sunog sa ating bansa,” he said.
Meanwhile, from January 1-March 4, 2022, Año said that the BFP tallied 2,181 fire incidents nationwide which is higher than the cases recorded last year (1,984 fire incidents) in the same period. Thirty-eight civilians have perished from those fire cases, he said, while 158 were injured.
He said that for the number, more than P640.9-million pesos worth of damages to properties were accounted by the Fire Bureau caused mainly by electrical ignitions by arcing which happens when a circuit becomes overloaded and overheats or electrical ignition by a loose connection.
Año said that 994 or 46 percent of the total fire incidents nationwide from January 1 were accidental in nature while 470 cases were due to negligence. Most incidents, he added, were structural with 1,417 cases while there were 180 vehicular fire cases.
DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that self-discipline among members of the family and workers in an establishment is the key to ensuring the practice of fire safety in homes and establishments.
Malaya said that simple fire safety protocols include regularly checking electrical connections and unplugging appliances not being used; not leaving an open stove unattended; regularly checking the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tank if it is turned off or closed; and, storing flammable items in secure locations.
“Marami na tayong nilagpasang hirap sa gitna ng pandemya. Ngayong unti-unti nating inaabot ang pagbabalik sa normal na pamumuhay, tiyakin nating ligtas tayo ‘di lamang sa banta ng COVID-19 kundi ang mapaminsalang sunog. Disiplina para sa ligtas na pamilya, ligtas na bayan,” he said.
According to the BFP, ten fire incidents related to LPG were recorded this year while 42 were tallied last year.DILG