51 fires recorded in just 2 months

51 fires recorded in just 2 months
File photo

A DAY before the Fire Prevention Month celebration, Cebu City already recorded 51 fire incidents since the start of 2024 which translates to a 45.7 percent rise from the 35 fire incidents recorded during the same period last year.

Of the 51 incidents this year, 30 happened in January, resulting in property damage of about P19 million, said Senior Fire Officer Wendell Villanueva, information officer of the Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO).

Meanwhile, a total of 21 fire incidents were recorded in the month of February with two of the fires happening in the afternoon of Feb. 29.

Villanueva urged the public to heighten fire precautionary measures, especially during the dry season when the risk of fires is higher due to dry weather conditions.

Proclamation 115-A issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. on Feb. 24, 1966, declared March as Fire Prevention Month to remind people about the importance of fire safety and prevention.

“We need to raise awareness among people about the dangers of the hot season. A small mistake could lead to a fire outbreak as things, and homes tend to get extremely dry during this time,” Villanueva said.

“As water is scarce, we should be extra cautious and take all necessary measures to prevent any incident,” he added, taking into account the existing El Niño phenomenon.

The CCFO will embark on several educational programs and campaigns to inform people about fire hazards, proper fire safety measures and emergency preparedness.

Earlier this week, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Visayas reported that Cebu will be affected by a dry spell due to El Niño.

According to Pagasa, a dry spell occurs when there are three successive months of below-normal rainfall or two consecutive months of “significantly below-normal”rainfall.

Below-normal rainfall refers to a reduction of 20 to 60 percent from the average precipitation levels for a specific area, while significantly below-normal rainfall indicates a decrease of more than 60 percent compared to the norm.

Villanueva urged the public to conserve water, particularly during this time, so that the fire department can respond swiftly in case of fire emergencies.

The CCFO, which sources water from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District, is currently not having any issues with its supply, said Villanueva.

To mark the opening of Fire Prevention Month on March 1, the CCFO held two motorcades traversing routes from north to south to spread fire safety information in various areas. / KJF

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