The real consequences of a devastating fire last longer than putting the fire out. Since the dawn of the New Year, we have seen numerous news of fire incidents in the country. In February 12, a fire involving 300 houses broke out in Brgy. Damayan Lagi in Quezon City. Five days after, another one took place in Cebu City that affected 259 families in Barangay Tisa. It took over 6 hours to put out the fire since the fire alarm was raised at 12:28pm. Total damage was estimated at Php1.5M.
And 10 days before that, one of the biggest fires we’ve ever witnessed took place in Parola Compound, Tondo, Manila displacing 15,000 people. (See image below from EPA) The vastness of the fire and how quickly it spread made it difficult for fire fighters to complete their job. It took 90 fire trucks about 10 hours to put the fire out. This experience of an estimated 3,000 families triggered compassion and help from everywhere in the country. No one can fully describe the terror and loss that the affected families have been through and it is in disasters like this that we ask how, why, what now?
While investigations for these incidences are still on-going and speculations on the causes abound among neighbors, among the most common causes of fire among Filipino homes is faulty electrical wiring or equipment. According to Real Living, we should be checking and attending to frayed cords, overloaded plugs, electrical wires under rugs, furniture or curtains, and flickering lights when using another appliance. The thing is, we are all guilty of this. Why does it need attending to when it is still working? Well, the danger of it causing a fire that will burn all that you’ve worked hard for should be enough reason to have these checked by a licensed electrician. Dried leaves can easily cause fire from thrown out cigarettes and even extreme heat. Not putting flammable liquids in proper storage or putting them in places that can catch heat (kitchen or near plugs). Tip: if the container warning says “flammable”, then it is flammable. Other common causes are unattended candles or lighted lamp and careless smoking.
Regardless of the cause, the devastating effects are the same. The loss of a proper home is more than just the loss of property. It is a loss of sense of protection and temporary loss of hope. It is losing the tangible symbols of your every day hard work. On top of all these, there is a stomach churning urgency of re-building. So, where do we begin? In cases like this, we all need a little boost – a little help to get started. The kindness of others is more than welcome but it’s not enough to sustain and regain the home we have built, no matter how simple or grand it is. This is where securing yourself and your family from the inevitable happens.
Insurance is not exactly the most appealing word in the Philippine culture. It connotes the taking of money when there is not much left in the wallet for things you want in the first place. Yet, here we are, looking at tragic news of fire devastating homes and villages, and still we do nothing. Insuring your home is giving you and your family the safety net you need when something that’s out of your control happens. Insuring your home gives you needed boost when tragedy strikes and you don’t know where to begin. So the answer to the question, “Can You Fight Fire?” is sadly, NO. You can prevent it by preparing your home. You can extinguish it when a small one occurs. But when the fire starts to breakout from the neighbor or nearby location, what is there to do but to flee. Sure, you think that there’s a slim chance that a fire will breakout in your neighbourhood anyway, but is that a chance you are willing to take?