By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Bacolod has recorded a 23.68 percent spike in residential fire incidents here in 2023.
Based on the comparative data of the BFP, 94 incidents were recorded in 2023, with a difference of 18 from 76 incidents in 2022.
Aside from this, commercial fires also increased by 12.50 percent from eight incidents in 2022 to nine incidents in 2023.
Also, business/government office fire cases increased by four from three in 2022 to seven incidents in 2023, storage fire from five cases in 2022 to six cases the following year, and industrial or factory fire from three cases in 2022 to five in 2023.
While there was no educational and healthcare fire in 2022, three educational incidents and one healthcare incident were reported last year.
Fire Chief Inspector Stephen Jardeleza, city fire marshal, told Daily Guardian that the incidents also increased the estimated amount of damage in structural fire last year, which was at P45,018,550, up from P30,075,643 in 2022.
Jardeleza said the most common cause of these fire incidents was overheated electrical installation or loose connection, while the other causes are open flame or unattended bonfire, overheated electrical appliances, ignition of materials from ember, unattended cooking, open flame by children playing matchsticks, LPG leakage, firecrackers, negligence, and alleged intentional or intentional circumstances.
Despite this, Jardeleza said that the total number of fire incidents last year decreased by 24.10 percent from 336 fire incidents in 2022 to 255 incidents in 2023.
The BFP recorded a decrease in the following types of fire incidents last year – grass fire, 56; electrical post fire, 35; miscellaneous fire, 21; rubbish fire, 17; and places of assembly, 1.
No mixed-type occupancy fire was recorded last year, while one was reported in 2022.
The most number of fire incidents were reported in April with 55, followed by March, 36, and May, 29.
Jardeleza said that two civilians were killed, while 14 others were wounded in separate fire incidents last year.
The number of wounded civilians last year decreased by three or 17.64 percent from 17, while there was no fatality in 2022.
Jardeleza believed that their information drive in schools and barangays also contributed to the decrease in fire incidents here. But, he said that they will continue with it to educate more people about fire safety and fire prevention.
He also noted the significant help of the community fire auxiliary group (CFAG) in addressing the fire concerns of residents in their respective barangays.
As of this writing, Jardeleza said that 10 barangays here have already CFAG. These are auxiliaries who were properly trained on how to manage small fires, and they will enable immediate response of firefighters as they know how to properly channel the incident to authorities.
This is all part of the Oplan Ligtas Pamayanan of the BFP, he added.