Negligence is top cause of fire incidents in GenSan; beware of candles during brownouts

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/04 March)  — Negligence by residents has emerged as the top cause of fire incidents that hit the city in the last two months, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here said.

Fire Officer 1 Philip Chan, public information officer of the city fire office, said their records showed that most of the fire incidents they responded to in January and February were triggered by unattended candles used during the series of power outages that hit the area.

He said the other fire incidents were caused by faulty power or electrical connections in the affected establishments or residences.

“All these could have been prevented if the establishment or house owners did not neglect their responsibilities to properly attend to flammable materials they were using or to have their electrical connections regularly checked,” Chan said in a radio interview.

Based on records of BFP-South Cotabato, which also covers this city, at least 14 fire incidents were recorded in the last two months.

These incidents left an estimated damage of P9.6 million in properties and valuables, said provincial fire marshall Chief Insp. Edzrapel Dilawangan.

To address the problem, Chan said they have been conducting seminars on fire prevention and other related fire safety practices every Wednesday to households applying for new electrical connections.

He said they emphasize during the seminars the importance of the adoption of fire prevention measures, among them the regular inspection or checkup of household power lines.

As part of the ongoing Fire Prevention Month, Chan said they scheduled a series of community information and education activities in the city’s 26 barangays.

“The summer season is here already so we’re urging everyone to be more vigilant because fire incidents can be prevented,” he said.

Chan added that as part of this month’s activities, the city fire station will spearhead the conduct of fire prevention games and competitions like photography, essay writing and poster-making for students and the public on March 10.

He said they will also hold a “fire olympics” that will be participated in by fire stations in the area as well as local private  volunteer fire brigades. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)