'Bayanihan' results to lower fire damage

'Bayanihan' results to lower fire damage

WHILE the Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) responded to more fires in March 2024, dubbed as the Fire Prevention Month, compared to the same period in 2023, damage reported due to the fires was remarkably smaller due to the support of local communities.

CCFO information officer Senior Fire Officer 2 Wendel Villanueva said there were 39 fire incidents in March this year compared to 33 incidents in March 2023.

However, the damage from this year’s fires was lower at P9.6 million compared to P11.6 million suffered in 2023.

Assistance provided by locals in putting out fires or communal unity, also known as the Filipinos’ “Bayanihan spirit” in helping others without expecting rewards, was among the reasons for the lower damage reported this year.

According to Villanueva, of the 39 fire incidents, 20 percent were declared “fireout upon arrival,” which means the fire had already been put out by residents when the fire fighters arrived.

“Despite the extreme heat that we experienced, we managed to contain the fire and prevented it from spreading, making this one of the initiatives that we successfully implemented with community support,” Villanueva said in Cebuano.

Unattended cooking, youngsters playing with matches or lighters, and electrical ignition from arcing were identified as the main causes of the fires.

The CCFO also recorded 22 grass fires in March 2024, most of which were started by lit cigarette butts, extreme heat and burning trash.

To prevent fires, the CCFO advised the public to refrain from burning trash outside of their homes and to throw cigarette butts only in designated areas.

This is especially important because the El Niño phenomenon is making it harder to get water for dousing flames, Villanueva said.

The CCFO and volunteer fire bri­gades culminated the end of Fire Prevention Month, themed “Sa Pag-iwas sa Sunog, Hindi ka Nag-­iisa (In Fire Prevention, You Are Not Alone)” with a simple program on Monday, April 1. / AYB, TPT


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