By Kris Crismundo

DISASTER. Fire burns down a residential area in Sta. Mesa, Manila on Feb. 21, 2024. The Department of Energy advises house owners to check on their electrical connections when they leave during the Holy Week. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Department of Energy (DOE) reminded households of safety precautions to avoid fires and electrical hazards when they leave their homes during the Holy Week.

“Before hitting the long drive this Holy Week, we advise our homeowners to inspect their electrical outlets, cords, and extension cords thoroughly for any damage, and to repair damaged components to prevent the risks of electrical hazards, such as short circuits or electrical fires,” DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla said in a statement over the weekend.

Lotilla advised unplugging non-essential electrical devices such as televisions, computers, chargers, and small appliances if leaving the house for a longer period.

He added that electrical faults due to short circuit or loose connections may cause fire.

The DOE chief likewise encouraged oil companies to mobilize assistance to motorists traveling during the Holy Week.

“Let us assist them in safely navigating their way during these busy travel periods by implementing initiatives that will enhance their overall travel experience and promote road safety campaigns,” Lotilla said.

With the big-time price hike seen this week, Lotilla said oil firms can compensate by assisting and providing efficient services, like ensuring that service stations are well-stocked and the staff can handle the increased volume of cars, including offering extended hours, if necessary.”

Meanwhile, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) assured its 7.8 million customers of continuous and stable service during the Holy Week.

“As a 24-hour service company, we assure our customers that our crews are on standby to attend to concerns and unexpected power interruptions,” Meralco vice president and head of corporate communications Joe Zaldarriaga said in a statement.

Meralco business centers will be closed March 28 to 31, but electricity and emergency services are cobtinuous. (PNA)