By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

Quezon City firefighters worked tirelessly to quell a fire that consumed residential houses in Barangay South Triangle on April 23, 2023. The blaze reached the first alarm. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler) 

MANILA – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) reported that fires in the country went up by 40 percent from April 1 to 26 compared to the same period last year.

In a statement on Monday, the BFP said that from the 953 recorded fire incidents in April 2022, the number jumped to 1,332 during the same period this year.

According to the BFP, most common reasons for these fire incidents are due to faulty electric wires; dried leaves, grass and garbage materials which easily catch fire or lighted cigarette butts.

With the soaring fire incidents, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. and the BFP called on the public to take the necessary precautions to prevent fire incidents, especially during the soaring heat of the summer months.

Abalos also urged the local government units (LGUs) to conduct inspection and coordinate with the BFP to ensure the strict adherence of the establishments to the regulations in Republic Act 9514, otherwise known as the “Fire Code of the Philippines (FCP.’’

Tiyakin natin na ang mga buildings ay mayroong fire exits, fire protection systems tulad ng sprinklers, hose box, at iba pang fire safety features alinsunod sa Fire Code of the Philippines. Huwag po nating ipagwalang-bahala ang mga ganitong bagay dahil buhay at kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan ang nakasalalay rito (Let us make sure that buildings have fire exits, fire protection systems like sprinklers, hose box and other fire safety features pursuant to the Fire Code of the Philippines. Let us not disregard these things since lives and the safety of our fellowmen are at stake here),’’ Abalos said in a statement.

The DILG chief said that simple fire safety protocols like unplugging of appliances not being used, regular inspection of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks, and storing highly combustible materials in secure places. (PNA)