800% increase in fire damage in Mandaue in 2024

800% increase in fire damage in Mandaue in 2024
Amper Campana/File

THERE was an 800 percent increase in fire damage in Mandaue City during the first two months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, the Bureau of Fire Protection Mandaue Office said.

Arnel Abella, head of BFP Mandaue, reported that their office had recorded around P1.7 million worth of fire damages to properties from January to February 2024. This is a rise of about P1.5 million compared to the same period last year, which was only P179,250.

Abella said in a media interview on Friday, March 1, 2024, that the damages recorded in 2024 were primarily from single-family houses, mostly made of light materials.

Despite the rise in damages, BFP Mandaue's data revealed that there was a decrease in the number of recorded fire incidents from January to February 2024, with only seven fire incidents, compared to the same period in 2023, where eight fire cases were recorded.

Abella is urging the public to ensure that their houses are safe from fire hazards. He is encouraging people to regularly check their wiring connections and replace any dilapidated wiring. Faulty wiring connections remain the top cause of fire incidents in the city.

He advises people to avoid electrical overloading and plugging in too many devices in a single circuit, leaving the kitchen unattended while using LPG tanks, butane canisters, or any fire-igniting materials.

Abella explains that when too much electrical current passes through the electric wires by plugging in too many gadgets, the wires may heat up and melt, which could start a fire. Hence, he said it is essential to be cautious and follow safety measures to prevent any fire accidents.

Super water tankers

During a separate interview on March 1, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes announced that the City Government bought super water tanker trucks to augment the fire equipment of the BFP Mandaue.

Abella shared that the Mandaue City Government has allocated approximately P20 million for the procurement of water tankers. The purchase has already been processed by the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO).

He further explained that these water tankers can store a considerably larger amount of water than regular water tankers. They can be used to immediately extinguish fires in case of fire incidents.

Currently, Abella said their office does not have a water tanker truck. They rely on the MCDRRMO's water tanker truck when responding to larger fires.

According to BigRentz, a regular water tanker truck can store from 2,000 up to 6,000 gallons of water. On the other hand, a larger water tank such as a supertanker can store up to 8,000 to 60,000 gallons of water.

Abella said that the super water tankers will be delivered within the year.

Cortes said he has also instructed the MCDRRMO to potentially allocate funds for the purchase of additional fire trucks and to conduct further fire safety training for the barangay-based disaster responders.

The aim is to empower the barangays, as the city has grown larger with more people, and the traffic congestion has increased, which will affect the response time of the firefighters. Therefore, the goal is to equip and provide the necessary knowledge and support to the villages to improve their capacity to respond to disasters, Cortes added.

Out of the 27 barangays in Mandaue, 14 of them already possess fire brigade trucks, according to the BFP Mandaue.

Fire prevention month

On Friday, March 1, the Mandaue City Government, together with the BFP Mandaue Office, organized a kickoff ceremony to mark the nationwide celebration of Fire Prevention Month. The event was held at Parkmall Mandaue, located in Barangay Tipolo.

During the ceremony, representatives from the BFP Mandaue led by Abella, and the Mandaue City Government led by Cortes performed a symbolic extinguishing of a flame.

This gesture signifies the joint commitment of both entities to addressing fire safety concerns and ensuring the well-being of the community through collective responsibility and unity.

Apart from this, Abella also mentioned that a fire square road show, master chef, poster-making contest, and other activities will be conducted.

These events will be participated by the BFP, barangay, business establishments, and other stakeholders to raise awareness and promote fire safety.

The office also has recently concluded its annual fire Olympics on February 24, in relation to the fire prevention month celebration. (HIC)


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