Negligence, intoxication add to fire season risks

A moment of carelessness with a candle or a cooking stove can have devastating consequences for an entire community.

With the summer heat, strong wings and dry brush, this season holds great risks for fires, which can happen quickly and spread even faster, especially in densely populated settlements.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi reminded the public to take basic safety precautions, as most fires, he said, were due to negligence or intoxication.

“Open flames must be watched, and we cannot leave fires unattended. We are encouraging residents to protect themselves and their neighbours by observing basic fire-prevention strategies, such as keeping a watch over open flames, keeping a bucket of sand on hand as a first defence should a candle fall over, and mounting a candle in a can with sand to enhance safety.“

Make sure candles are secure and can’t fall over.

Fire safety tips

• Keep a close eye on open flames while cooking.

• Never leave a flame or fire unattended.

• Don’t start a fire when you are tired or intoxicated.

• Make sure candles are secure and can’t fall over. Place candles in a container filled with sand, so that if it falls over, the sand extinguishes the flame.

• Teach your family and children about the dangers of fire.

• Make sure cigarette butts are put out properly, before disposing of them.

• Be aware of the dangers of illegal electricity connections, which also cause fires.

• Electricity tampering can also lead to fires starting. Illegal electricity connections are a major contributor to fires in the City’s rental stock.

• If a fire breaks out, call the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre immediately by dialling 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone. Provide a correct address and if possible, a landmark nearby, like a shop or school. Fires must be reported swiftly as they can spread very quickly.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the City’s Disaster Risk Management teams would continue to spread awareness about fire prevention.

“This is a team effort. Reducing the risks of fires is a task that can only be achieved when we all work together,” said Mr Smith.