Fourteen municipalities in Cebu are still without fire stations of their own. These are Sta. Fe, Madredijos, Tabogon, Borbon, Catmon, Pilar, Asturias, Ronda, Alcantara, Alegria, Badian, Samboan, Santander, and Alcoy.
Provincial Fire Marshall Sr./Insp Ronald Orbeta disclosed this information during the recent Kapistorya of the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Orbeta reminded local government units that they need to donate property on which the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) can construct a fire station. He also explained that it is the BFP who will spend for the construction and purchase of equipment, including a firetruck.
For now, municipalities without fire stations are clustered with towns nearest them that are complete with equipment.
Orbeta also reported that the number of fire incidents from January to March 2016 reached 145 fires, with the total cost of damage to property at P22,840,729. The common cause was faulty electrical wiring. The others were due to failure of smokers to put out cigarette butts after smoking and improperly disposed matchsticks.
There were 156 fire incidents in the same period last year. No amount of damage cost was mentioned by the provincial fire marshall.
The BFP is also at the forefront of making sure that public schools in the province are safe from fire risks before election day, on election day, and after.
Orbeta disclosed the office of the provincial fire marshall is consolidating data for a report on safety status of the province’s public schools following inspection of voting centers in the province. Submission of these reports provincewide was expected last week.
Upon request of the barangay, the fire department also helps deliver water across the province, including Cebu City, where residents do not have water supply because of El Niño.
Meanwhile, the provincial fire marshall cautioned the public against the use pf butane for daily home cooking. While it is true that this is cheaper than LPG, especially with refillable cannisters that are available at P12, it is not under the Fire Code. He advised LGUs to come up with an ordinance to address the risks this type of equipment can bring to their constituents.
Also in attendance at the Kapistorya were public information officers of some municipalities in the province who raised the question about safety of using butane in households.