Fire incidents are on the rise, as life returns to normal post COVID-19

Fires may be rare, but their consequences are almost always nearly completely devastating. Fire prevention is vital, but insuring against fire is also something everyone should do if they can.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) revealed that there was a 12.9-percent spike in fire incidents from January to February compared to the same period last year. In numbers, that’s 2,103 fire incidents on the first two months of the year compared to 1,863 last year. The increase in fire incidents was attributed to the easing of restrictions due to the improved coronavirus situation in the country.

Historically, the onset of the dry season in March has seen the highest incidents of fire in the Philippines every year, hence March has been designated Fire Prevention Month. As mobility restrictions ease even further, and companies are being asked to go back to the office in order to stimulate the economy, the risk fire poses is greater than usual.

Prevention is of course the key, and according to the BFP in a separate article in May 2021, both presently and historically, the single biggest cause of residential fires are electrical issues: “Over the years, electrical connection issues have been the top cause of fires in Metro Manila, constituting an average of 53.85-percent of the total fires yearly,” the BFP article states.

The BFP cites loose connections, overloading, pinched wires, and/or overheated home appliances as leading causes of electrical fires. They have long been educating consumers on ways to avoid fire incidents: avoid octopus connections; throw out old power cables, connectors, and even appliances; and use circuit breakers and fuse boxes. Make sure unused appliances such as PCs and laptops, electric fans, TV sets, and the like are not left running when they are not in use, especially when nobody is home.

For those who cook with LPG, don’t leave stoves or ovens running unattended, and turn off regulators when not cooking or baking. Replace hoses and regulators at least once a year or more often if the cooking appliance is heavily used. These tips are effective preventative measures that should be applied at all times in all seasons, not just during Fire Prevention Month.

The heightened risk that fires pose underscores the prevalent fact that Filipinos are underinsured. “It is important to be insured for as many things as there are that pose real and significant risks for things that matter, and that cannot easily be replaced. To not cover everything of value that is vulnerable to real risks is to be underinsured,” shares AXA Philippines President and CEO, Rahul Hora.

Because anything can happen even to the most careful individuals, home insurance with fire coverage is a must. Homes are busier places than they were before the pandemic, making it advisable to get home insurance that covers a broad range of risks including fire. Home Security from AXA protects not just against property damage from a fire or other disasters, but it is also inclusive of personal accident insurance for household members, rent and relocation benefits, robbery coverage, and even household help protection.

When it comes to getting insured, it’s always advisable to go with a more well-known insurance company rather than simply going with the company that offers the lowest premiums. Choosing a globally trusted company such as AXA for all insurance needs gives you the peace of mind of knowing that when you need it most, insurance will be there to cushion whatever blows life throws at you and your loved ones.

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