218 fire incidents recorded in 10 months
At least 218 fire incidents were recorded from January to October this year in Cebu City, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) data showed.
Majority of the fires recorded were so-called structural fires, involving houses or residential establishments, and commercial buildings. Of the 152 structural fires, 113 affected residential areas.
The remaining figures were forest or grass fire incidents, and vehicular fires, among others.
With this, Chief Inspector Noel Nelson Ababon, city fire marshal, said there is a need to look into the efficacy of fire prevention activities.
"Effective tuod mi sa commercial establishments pero nagkuwang mi sa mga residential areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Division on the Welfare of the Urban Poor conducted a public forum on urban disaster resiliency in line with the “Urban Poor Solidarity Week.”
"The urban poor is the number one victim in times of calamity whether fire or landslides and other disasters," said Nagiel Banacia, officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
Banacia and Ababon were the resource speakers of the event, which was attended by homeowners associations from different communities in the city.
Banacia said the urban poor should know how to respond to disasters and to foster resiliency within their communities.
Ababon, for his part, said trainings and drills are also conducted in communities, not just in hotels and other establishments.
He said the community-based training program is in coordination with the city or town’s disaster risk reduction and management office.
He said the fire department is planning to revive the program wherein each barangay will have volunteers trained for security, first aid and firefighting.
"Nindot siya na programa kay kung naay panghitabo duna dayon makatabang. Ang problema lang gyud way mo volunteer," he said.
Moreover, Ababon urged homeowners to regularly check their wirings to avoid fire incidents.
"Kung mahimo, kada tuig atong ipasusi ang mga wirings sa registered electricians,” he said.
Most fire incidents are blamed on faulty electrical wirings.
On the other hand, as the country prepares for Christmas and New Year, the Department of Interior and Local Government and BFP are set to launch the "Oplan Paalala: Iwas Paputok, Sakuna at Sunog” on December 16.
The objective of Oplan Paalala is to encourage the public to strictly observe safety measures to prevent fire incidents in their households.
The campaign aims to ensure the safety of the public during
Christmas and New Year. It focuses on fire prevention activities such as firetruck and fireman visibility, fire safety tips dissemination, intensification of fire crackers and Christmas lights inspections.
Fire stations are expected to conduct a series of fire safety inspections on business establishments, malls, and facilities engaged in the manufacture, selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
Ababon urged the public to practice fire prevention measures as fire incidents are common during the holiday season.
Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officials in Talisay City inspect Barangay Cansojong households as part of their 'Oplan Paalala' drive. They urge the public to practice fire prevention measures this holiday season. ROWENA