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Cebu City Fire Office on high alert for New Year’s Eve

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 29,2023 - 11:37 AM

SFO2 Wendell Villanueva, information officer of the Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) | Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) is on high alert for New Year’s celebrations, starting from December 22. All personnel are on duty and standby to respond to any emergencies in Cebu City during the festivities.

Senior Fire Officer 2 Wendell Villanueva, CCFO information officer, said in a phone interview that they anticipate an increased risk of fire incidents, mainly due to firecrackers during this time. As a preventive measure, the CCFO has initiated daily ‘Oplan Paalala Iwas Paputok’ operations in different barangays to raise awareness and provide fire safety tips to residents.

This is a sitio and barangay-based operation that is done to raise awareness and disseminate  fire safety tips to residents. 

On December 31, CCFO personnel will be roving around to advise citizens on safe practices when using fireworks. All substations are equipped with tools, including first aid kits, to assist possible victims. Villanueva emphasized the importance of having fire extinguishers, water pails, and capable personnel near firecracker zones.

CCFO is collaborating with barangay officials to identify and designate firecracker zones within their areas. Meanwhile, some personnel are deployed in selling areas to monitor fireworks vendors and customers.

Hoping for zero fire incident

Villanueva expressed hope for zero fire incident on New Year’s Eve, continuing the streak observed during Christmas.

He urged the public to follow fire safety tips, especially parents prohibiting children from using fireworks and picking up discarded ones. He also discouraged drunk individuals from handling firecrackers.

“Ato lang pahimanano sa mga taw, especially sa mga adults, sa mga ginikanan, nga dili nato tugotan atong mga kabataan mogamit niini. Ikaduha, og duna nay mga sakop, sa panimalay nga nakainom o hubog, ato sad ning badlungon nga di mogamit sa mao nga pabuto,” stated Villanueva.

Meanwhile, some CCFO personnel are deployed to the city’s fireworks zone at the South Road Properties to keep watch of the fireworks vendors and customers.

Villanueva advised checking LPG and appliances before leaving for vacation, unplugging unused appliances, avoiding overnight charging, and monitoring cooking activities during Media Noche.

The CCFO discourages the use of fireworks and recommends noise-making alternatives like pans, car horns, and party horns. For those insistent on using fireworks, he stressed caution and suggested enjoying professionally handled displays organized by local government units and private establishments for a safer celebration. /clorenciana

READ MORE: Cebu City sets sight on a fire-safe 2024

Demand weak despite cheaper fireworks, firecrackers

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