Most Marikina fires related to electricityBy Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—More than half of the fires that hit Marikina last year were caused by electricity-related factors, prompting the city’s top fire official to warn residents against negligence and carelessness in the early days of the Fire Prevention Month.
According to the records of the city’s fire department, fires caused by electricity-related factors were the most frequent in Marikina, with 130 of the 190 fires that hit the area since January 1 to December 31, 2012——or 68.42 percent—falling under this category.
The barangay which saw the highest number of fires caused by electricity-related factors was Malanday (17), followed by Sto.Niño (12), Parang (11) and Concepcion Dos (11).
Barangays Sta. Elena (10), Nangka (9), Kalumpang (9), Fortune (8), Concepcion Uno (8) and Marikina Heights (7) were next on the list, followed by Barangays Tumana (6), Industrial Valley Complex (6), Tañong (5), San Roque (5), Barangka (4), and Jesus Dela Peña (2).
According to Supt. Marcos Monday Valen, city fire marshall, each household should take the necessary steps to prevent the overuse of electrical appliances by unplugging unused electrical items, for example, and by avoiding octopus wirings.
He said a licensed electrician should also conduct regular inspections of electrical wirings, and, if old and broken, should change existing ones.
“Most fires are caused by people’s negligence and carelessness. There are different ways to avoid fires. One of these is public awareness,” Valen said.
While Mayor Del de Guzman for his part acknowledged the need to take the necessary precautions against fires especially this month, he said residents should remain vigilant “the entire year.”
According to the city’s records, based on frequency, fires caused by electricity-related factors were followed by those induced by cigarette butts (25), those whose causes have yet to be known (20), those caused by open flames (8), and those caused by liquefied petroleum gas or LPG (5).
Last on the list were fires caused by overheated fans, and propellant powder, with one incidence each, according to the city records.