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BFP Reports 25% Surge in Fire Incidents During Early 2024

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA – The country has seen a 25 percent increase in the number of fire incidents in the first two months of the year, most of which occurred in residential areas.

Speaking at a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing on Friday, Bureau of Fire of Protection (BFP) spokesperson Fire Supt. Annalee Carbajal-Atienza said a total of 3,044 fire incidents were reported from Jan. 1 to March 1 this year, from 2,424 incidents logged in the same period last year.

Smoking is the leading cause of fire incidents, followed by unattended open flames from cooking and electric ignitions, she added.

“Doon tayo naka-focus ngayon at majority po ng insidente ay residential. Kaya isa po sa programa natin although since 2019 pa naman po ito inilunsad, ‘Oplan Ligtas na Pamayanan’ at kasama po dito iyong pagpapakalat ng (We are focusing on residential areas because majority of these fires are residential. This is why one of our key programs, although it was launched in 2019, ‘Oplan Ligtas na Pamayanan,’ includes the dissemination of) EDITH – Emergency Drill In The Home,” Atienza said.

She added that the BFP modernization, which is set to commence this year, is seen to improve fire prevention and response efforts.

“Ang atin pong pinapalakas, siyempre iyong mga existing resources natin at tayo naman po ay excited sa pagkalatag ng BFP modernization. Sa sampung taon na darating, simula ngayon ay mapupunuan na po iyong kakulangan natin sa fire truck at fire station, at ganoon na rin sa pagdagdag ng personnel (What we are strengthening, of course, are our existing resources and we are excited about BFP modernization. In the next 10 years from now, our lack of fire trucks and fire stations, as well as personnel, will be augmented),” Atienza said.

As of January, Atienza said, 123 towns have no firetrucks and fire stations and only have fire prevention officers.

“Habang naghihintay po tayo sa completion na ito, siyempre ina-acknowledge natin iyong presensiya ng mga fire volunteers natin sa ngayon na napaka-supportive at active po when it comes to public service. Patuloy din po ang ating pag-monitor ng area of responsibility natin sa bawat bayan (While we are waiting for this completion, of course, we acknowledge the presence of our fire volunteers who are very supportive and active when it comes to public service. We are also continuing to monitor our area of responsibility in each town),” she added.

The BFP will hold motorcades across the country to improve public awareness of fire prevention, she said.

March is Fire Prevention Month through Proclamation 115-A signed by the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. in 1966. (PNA)

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