Fire incidents among businesses inch up in 2017

THE number of fire incidents affecting business establishments slightly increased to 50 in 2017 compared to 49 in 2016.

Senior Fire Officer 2 Ramil Gillado of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said majority of the fire incidents in the past year were caused by electrical short circuits.

Another cause was unattended plugged-in electrical appliances or devices.

Gillado urged establishments and residents to use only household appliances and wirings with ICC-seal for safety.

In 2016, there were eight fire incidents that happened in industrial establishments, 17 in mercantile, 16 in business, and eight in storage establishments or warehouses.

However, in 2017, the fire incidents for industrial establishments hiked up to 14, mercantile with 19 fire incidents, business still with 16 incidents, and storage/warehouses still with eight fire incidents.

In 2017, the fourth quarter was expectedly the quarter with the highest amount of damages due to fire amounting to P1.6 billion following the NCCC fire on December 23. The same quarter of 2016 was recorded to only have a total of almost P25 million.

Generally, there was a 2,106 percent increase for the total fire damages based on initial assessment to P2.29 billion in 2017 from only P104 million in 2016.

In a report published last Friday, March 6, the Interagency Anti-arson task force already submitted their comprehensive investigation report on the NCCC fire to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Senior Superintendent Wilberto Rico Neil Kwan Tiu said the results will hopefully serve as eye-opener for business establishments and other stakeholders to take precautionary measures to avoid the same incident from happening again.

Just January of this year, Information Communications Technology Davao, Inc. (ICT Davao) president Samuel Matunog said the NCCC fire incident caused other business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the city to check their own equipment as well as of their locators.

Matunog further said that emergency plans being observed right now are not sufficient enough to address fire and reviewing emergency procedures is a need.
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