Archive for August, 2018

Causes of Rural fires

Monday, August 27th, 2018

In the period between January 1 and August 15, 2018, the national database of rural fires recorded a total of 7670 rural fires that resulted in 34791 hectares of burned area, forest areas (19377 ha), bush (13433 ha ) and agriculture (1981 ha).

Comparing the figures ​​of 2018 with the previous 10 years, there were 40% fewer rural fires and 49% less area burned than the annual average for the period 2008-17.

The year 2018 presents, until August 15, the second lowest in the number of occurrences and the 5th lowest amount of burned area, since 2008.

Of the total fires 4850 were investigated, (63% of the total number of fires – responsible for 17% of the area burned

Of these, the investigation the causes were established in 3421 fires (71% of fires of those investigated.

To date, the most frequent causes in 2018 are: the uncontrolled burning of pasture (66%), 14% deliberate and re-ignitions 9%.

A total of 56 fires were caused by discarded cigarette butts and 34 from fireworks or BBQs %

IMPORTANT REFERENCES IN THE EVENT OF AN EXTREME RISK OF RURAL FIRES

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

1. ANPC NOTIFICATION
When the weather conditions are forecast to be extreme with an exceptionally high risk of fires, the ANPC will issue a notification stating the forecast, expected effects and preventive steps. This is placed on SCP Facebook page in English and the following link. PLEASE ALWAYS SHARE IMMEDIATELY – IT IS IMPORTANT
https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/current-anpc-weath…/

2. SMS TEXT
In the Districts where a Red alert has been issued a Government SMS message is sent to mobile phone subscribers. It contains a telephone number for more information, usually 800 246 246 for local subscribers and 217 247 247 for overseas subscribers – PLEASE USE IT.

3. SELF PROTECTION MEASURES
In the event of a fire breaking out near you or it is approaching your house this leaflet in English gives a basic guide what to do. For those living in, or visiting rural areas, please download, print and keep it handy. Have an evacuation kit ready. If you rent your property ensure clients are aware.
https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/…/Safe-Village-Safe…

Person arrested for Forest Fire crime

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

The Judicial Police, through the Board of Directors of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo , have identified, located and detained a man, 62 years of age, strongly suspected of causing a fire.

The investigation found that the detainee had caused the fire in the late afternoon of the 15th, in a rural area belonging to a farm in the area of ​​Benavente.

In this fire, there were no high damages and losses, because the fire was detected early, and it is possible to extinguish it in its initial phase.

The person is suspected to have acted, driven by a strong desire of revenge against the owner of the farm where the fire occoured.

The detainee was present at the first judicial interrogation, and the preventive detention measure was applied.

 

Insults and threats made to the Pedrógão Grande Council over fire donations

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Outrage leads people who made donations to victims of the fires to claim the money back after suspected irregularities.

The Pedrógão Grande Chamber has received, in the last two days, dozens of insulting and threatening calls and emails from people who made donations to the victims of the fires last summer.

Suspicions of irregularities in the application of the funds, reported on 22nd August by TVI, created a climate of widespread indignation.

This case, reported in July by the “Vision”, led the President of the Republic to say at the time that “the Portuguese cannot be in doubt that, when they contribute to a noble cause, and not that there is a deviation from the essential purpose of their contribution “.

The PGR has an open investigation in this case, although that are no defendants.

Number of Defibrillators in public spaces set to rapidly expand

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

The number of external automatic defibrillators (AEDs) in public places will skyrocket over the next few years, as well as the number of people trained to use them.

A government Working group has also recommended mandatory training also for the security forces.

Training in the use of such a life-saving device should be mandatory for safety forces, swimmers, lifeguards, aircrew, and other groups who, by their profession, are more exposed to situations of cardiac arrest.

It also recommends that schools, hotels, gyms, trains will be required to have them as well as trained personnel.

New drivers will have to know how to use a defibrillator

Defibrillators are devices that restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart.

In June Albufeira became the only municipality in Portugal to have automatic defibrillators located at several key locations in the borough. The defibrillators are inside boxes installed outside public buildings on busy streets.

A total of 71 council workers, police officers and firefighters have been trained to use the equipment

Rural Fires – Government Contact Point to receive public views

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

SAFE VILLAGE – SAFE PEOPLE PROGRAM

Although no lives were lost during the Monchique fires, there were injuries, houses and other properties destroyed or damaged; considerable destruction to the environment; death and injury of animals; people who have lost their homes and were displaced, and livelihoods affected.

Not only physical damage, but also psychological damage to those who lived through this terrifying ordeal.

With any incident of this magnitude, Government undertakes reviews to identify issues which went according to plan and importantly those where there are lessons to be learned. By doing this there is an opportunity to move forward and bring about changes where necessary.

A proposal made by Safe Communities Portugal to the Government last week, recommending that a direct channel be formed to enable individual members of the public who were affected, plus volunteer agencies who were on the ground, to share their first hand experiences and make suggestions for the future, has been agreed by the Ministry of Internal Administration.

This will be conducted under the Safe Village Safe people program

For those wishing to submit their observations and suggestions in English or Portuguese, can do this by using the following government email: aldeiasegura@prociv.pt . Views submitted will help in this review process.

Rising Temperatures Public Health advice 18th – 19th August

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Te IPMA have advised that, on Saturday, the 18th August, the maximum air temperature will rise sharply, especially on the coast. The minimum temperature will also register a rise, particularly in the night from Saturday to Sunday.

On 18th and 19th, the maximum temperature will vary between 28 and 35 ° C in the coastal regions, between 29 and 34 ° C in the interior regions of the North and between 35 and 39 ° C in the regions of the interior of the Center and South. Maximum temperatures may reach 40 ° C in some places of the Alentejo and Tagus Valley.

To protect yourself from the harmful effects that intense heat may have on your health, you should stay abreast of the news and keep yourself hydrated and cool. The DGS recommends:

  • Seek cool environments (preferably air conditioned);
  • Try to keep the heat out of your home: close the blinds or shutters and keep air circulating inside the house; keep the house as cool as possible and avoid using the oven.
  • Drink water or fresh, sugar-free fruit juices and avoid drinking alcohol;
  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun, especially between 11 am and 5 pm.
  • Wear loose (cotton) clothing that keeps most of your body covered, as well as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses;
  • Wear sunscreen with a protection factor higher than 30 and reapply every two hours.
  • Choose the coolest hours to travel by car.
  • Do not remain inside parked vehicles exposed to the sun and do not leave pets in the car either;
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities;
  • Pay particular attention to those who are more vulnerable to the heat, such as: children; the elderly; the chronically ill; pregnant women; people with reduced mobility; People who work outdoors and Isolated people;
  • Offer water to newborn babies, children, the elderly and the sick, who may not be able to say that they are thirsty;
  • The chronically ill and patients who are being medicated or following specific diets should obey their doctors’ orders;
  • Children under the age of six months should not be exposed to the sun; children under the age of three should not be exposed to direct sunlight and should wear protective clothing and a sunscreen with a protection factor higher than fifty.

 

More details from DGS can be downloaded in Portuguese here

ANPC WARNING INCREASE IN SEVERITY – SMS TEXT TO THOSE IN AREA IMPLEMENTED

Friday, August 17th, 2018

INCREASE IN WEATHER SEVERITY

PREPARATORY MEASURES FOR RURAL FIRE PREVENTION

NATIONAL AUTHORITY OF CIVIL PROTECTION

Given the forecast of increasing weather severity for the next few days and the decision by the National Civil Protection Authority (CNPC) of the National Civil Protection Authority (CNOS) to raise the Special Alert Status of the Integrated (FIRE) for the RED LEVEL in the districts of Braga, Bragança, Guarda, Porto, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real and Viseu, the CNOS is undertaking the following operational anticipation measures:

  1. Reinforcement of warning messages by District Relief Operations Commands (CDOS) to all district and municipal structures, with a view to strengthening surveillance and enhancing operational responsiveness;
  2. Reinforcement of alert messages by CNOS to all national structures, with a view to strengthening surveillance and enhancing operational responsiveness;
  3. Daily meetings of the operational and institutional coordination structures at the national and district level – National Operational Coordination Centre (CCON) and District Operational Coordination Centers (CCOD);
  4. Operation of the following pre-positioning of operational response means:
  5. Lisbon Forest Fires Reinforcement Group at the Vila Real Logistic Support Base, Vila Real;
  6. Forest Fire Reinforcement Group of Lisbon at the Macedo de Cavaleiros Logistic Support Base, Bragança;
  7. Forest Fire Reinforcement Group of Lisbon at the Albergaria Logistic Support Base, Aveiro;
  8. Forest Fire Reinforcement Group of Porto at the Logistic Support Base of Ponte de Lima, Viana do Castelo; and.
  9. Reinforcement of resources of operational response at the Logistics Support Base of Ourique, Beja;
  10. Track Machines from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests in Guimarães (Braga), Trancoso (Guarda), Proença-a-Nova (Castelo Branco), Mangualde (Viseu), Mirandela (Bragança) and Loulé (Faro);
  11. Armed Forces patrol teams distributed by districts in EAE Vermelho;
  12. Reinforcement groups of the Intervention Group on Protection and Relief (GIPS) of the GNR and, Mirandela (Bragança), Viseu, Loulé (Faro) and Aveiro;
  13. Strengthening groups of the Special Firefighters Force (FEB) in Guimarães (Braga), Trancoso (Guarda), Proença-a-Nova (Castelo Branco);
  14. Fire Analysis and Use Teams (EAUF) of the Special Firefighters Force in Vila Real, Viseu and Estremoz;
  • Recognition and Situation Assessment Team (ERAS) of the Firefighters Special Force in Santarém.
  1. Preventive SMS sending, applicable to the districts in EAE Vermelho, with broadcasting beginning at 6:00 p.m 17th August and the activation of the ANPC telephone hotline – 800 246 246 and 214 247 247 for overseas subscribers

Premier FX Administrators appointed 

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
Safe Communities Portugal has received a number of enquiries concerning the sudden termination of business pf Premier FX. The lack of information from the company has made it difficult to answer these other that report to the FCA in the UK.
However a message has now been posted on their website stating:
“I confirm that Dina Devalia and Peter Hart, of PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co, were appointed Joint Administrators of Premier FX Limited (“the Company”) on 13 August 2018. This appointment was made by the court on the application of the Financial Conduct Authority.
If you have previously sent funds into the Company’s bank account(s) then you are required to provide the information listed below, by either email or post. This will enable the Joint Administrators to address any queries and/or concerns you may have:
Read more
  • A copy of your agreement with the Company
  • Confirmation as to the total funds sent into the Company’s bank account(s)
  • A detailed breakdown of your payments to the Company’s accounts, including details of the amounts and dates the payments were made, which currency payment was made in and any written instructions to the Company in respect of the same. Where possible copy bank statements evidencing your payment(s) should also be provided.
  • Details of the Company account(s) into which the payments were made.
Please arrange for this information to be sent to premierfx@geoffreymartin.co.uk, or to be sent by post to the address detailed below:
PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co
1 Westferry Circus
Canary Wharf
London
E14 4HD
The Joint Administrators are currently carrying out their statutory investigations into the business and the above information will assist them with any queries you may have.
A member of the team will come back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, please ensure all matters are put in writing.
Should you wish to discuss the matter further then please contact Brooke Overton-Yorke of PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co on 0207 495 1100 should you have any further queries.

Pension fraud and scams

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

This article is being shared as there are many British pensioners in Portugal and the advice is useful.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are urging the public to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited offers about their pensions and to check who they are dealing with.

The FCA and TPR have launched a joint TV advertising campaign to raise awareness of pension scams and the most common tactics used by fraudsters.

This comes after figures show that a total of 253 victims reported to Action Fraud that they had lost more than £23 million to pension scammers in 2017, which equates to an average loss of £91,000 per victim.

Highly sophisticated scammers lure people into transferring their pensions into fraudulent schemes. Victims of pension scams can lose their life savings, and be left facing retirement with limited income.

The FCA and TPR are calling the public’s attention to the tactics used by pension scammers. One of the most common tactics is to offer a ‘free pension review’.

Cold calling is currently by far the most common method used to initiate pension fraud. Other scam tactics include:

  • Unexpected contact about your pension via phone, post or email.
  • Promises of guaranteed high returns and downplaying the risks.
  • Offering unusual or overseas investments that aren’t regulated by the FCA e.g. overseas hotels, forestry, green energy schemes.
  • Putting people under pressure to make a quick decision, for example with time-limited offers, and sending a courier round with paperwork to sign.
  • Claiming to be able to unlock money from an individual’s pension (which is normally only possible from age 55).
  • The FCA and TPR are urging the public to be ScamSmart with their pension and always check who they’re dealing with.

The regulators recommend four simple steps to protect yourself from pension scams:

  • Reject unexpected pension offers whether made online, on social media or over the phone.
  • Check who you’re dealing with before changing your pension arrangements – check the FCA Registeror call the FCA contact centre on 0800 111 6768 to see if the firm you are dealing with is authorised by the FCA.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making any decision about your pension.
  • Consider getting impartial information and advice.
  • If you think you’ve been a victim of a pension scam, report it. Visit ScamSmart to find out more.