Tacloban among with high fire incidents

TACLOBAN CITY – The cities of Tacloban, Ormoc, Calbayog, and Catbalogan and the municipality of Merida, Leyte recorded the most number of fire incidents in 2023 based on the data from the regional office of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Tacloban and Ormoc both recorded 13 fire incidents from January to November, Calbayog with 10, and Catbalogan and Merida both with six.

The month of August, the BFP said, has the most reported fire incidents with 34 cases in the whole of Eastern Visayas which is 54.54% higher compared to the same period last year with 22 fire incidents.

This is followed by the month of July with 25 fire incidents, a 13.63% higher than the 22 incidents in 2022, then November with 25 fire incidents, a 108.33% increase than the 12 incidents in 2022.

The month of March, designated as the Fire Prevention Month, recorded 22 fire incidents this year or 22.22 % higher than the 18 recorded fire incidents in 2022.

As of November this year, the region has already recorded 246 fire incidents, higher than the entire record of last year which was just 228.

Most of these fire incidents were due to faulty electrical wiring and overheated electrical appliances and happened in highly populated areas where houses are made from light materials and business establishment that sells combustible materials, BFP-8 assistant regional director S/Supt Randy Mendaros, said during the recently held ‘Kapihan sa PIA’ media forum.The BFP-8 estimated the initial worth of damage of these 246 fire incidents at PP149.72 million, relatively lower compared to last year’s P150.58 million.

Meanwhile, the BFP as part of its preparation for the Christmas celebration is on heightened alert and regularly conducts information dissemination or “Oplan Paalala” to prevent firecracker and Christmas decoration-related fire incidents during the holiday season.
S/Insp. Darwin Orsolino, BFP8 chief safety enforcement division chief, said that inspection of business establishments selling electrical Christmas decorations had started since November.

Orsolino also advises consumers to ask for assistance when buying Christmas lights to know if these are good for outdoor or only for indoor usage to avoid any possible fire incident. (ROEL T.AMAZONA)