MANILA - Fires have killed 32 people nationwide in the first 2 months of this year, the Bureau of Fire Protection said Thursday.
Data from the bureau showed there have been 1,758 fires so far in 2018, which have injured 108 people and damaged over P1 billion in property.
Out of the total, 525 fire incidents were recorded in Metro Manila, where 9 died and 36 were injured, the BFP said.
In 2017, there were some 14,000 fire incidents nationwide. These left dead 304 civilians, injured 889 others and left some P7.8 billion in damage to property, the bureau added.
The BFP on Thursday marked the start of the Fire Prevention Month. Temperatures peak in March, heralding the arrival of summer and at the same time heightening the risk of fire.
The top 3 causes of fire in the Philippines are faulty electrical connections, lit cigarette butts, and open flames from unattended stoves, according to the BFP.
BFP said it needs additional trucks, equipment and personnel.
The bureau urged the public to install smoke alarms and fire extinguishers; avoid overloading outlets or using worn-out cords; and refrain from using extension cords as permanent outlets.
They also reminded the public to place candles in holders or a basin partly filled with water, avoid storing items on the stove top, and keep flammable liquids and other combustible items away from the stove.
"Magsisimula yan sa bawat isa. Sa mga bahay natin dapat i-observe, ano ba pwedeng pagsimulan ng sunog" said BFP chief Director Leonard Bañago.
Some 3,000 BFP personnel and fire volunteers joined a unity dance, motorcade and emergency response simulation exercises to kick off the annual Fire Prevention Month.