In order to further prevent fires in the city, Mayor Joy Belmonte has created a task force on fire prevention following several fire incidents this month, which will also work with the City Council to craft a local Fire Safety Code.
The Task Force on Fire Prevention and Preparedness consists of different departments in the city government together with utility companies such as Meralco and water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad that will create policies and programs on fire prevention. The task force aims to address the leading causes of fire in the city and ensure quick and unhampered response to fire incidents.
“Dahil sa sunud-sunod na mga insidente ng sunog sa ating lungsod, lumikha tayo ng task force upang pag-aralan ang mga hakbang na pwedeng gawin para maiwasan itong maulit,” Mayor Belmonte said.
The mayor also encouraged QCitizens to take safety precautions to prevent fires in their homes and participate in fire drills.
“Maiiwasan natin ang sunog sa ating komunidad kung tayo mismo ay gagawa ng paraan upang mapanatiling ligtas ang ating pamilya at tahanan,” Belmonte added.
For his part, Chairperson on Committee on Public Order and Safety, Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica will propose necessary legislation pertaining to fire safety and prevention. Ludovica stressed that most of the recent fire incidents in the city happened in ISF (informal settler families) communities, where roads are narrow causing delays in the response of firefighters.
According to the QC Bureau of Fire Protection Statistical Data report for the past 5 years, the leading causes of fire were electrical ignition, followed by open flames attributed either to unattended cooking and unattended candles. Electrical fires at home were caused mostly by electrical ignition/ short circuits of electrical wiring connection due to either wear and tear of wiring; short circuits from defective and worn insulations; old wire electrical systems; use of octopus extension wire outlets; overheating appliances; and jumper connections.
Home electrical fires can be avoided by constant monitoring and checking of appliances, annual or bi-annual inspections of house electrical wiring systems, unplugging electrical appliances when not in use, and keeping flammable items away from the stove and out of children’s reach. Burning candles and cooking stoves must also not be left unattended. The BFP likewise advised the public to have their electrical connections checked by a licensed electrician every two years.
Belmonte emphasized the need to train more volunteer firefighters as part of the Community Fire Auxiliary Group (CFAG) that are expected to be among the first to respond to fire incidents in communities.
On Saturday, Mayor Belmonte personally handed financial assistance to fire victims from Barangay Obrero and Barangay Baesa together with the Social Services Development Department. The city government gave P10,000 to house owners and P5,000 for sharers or renters.