Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management and Human Settlements departments have made a call to residents, especially families living in informal settlements and in Community Residential Units (CRU), to be more cautious around open flames during the festive season.
In an effort to curb widespread fire incidents in areas more vulnerable to open flames, the directorates are pushing conducive fire safety initiatives, including hosting community engagement campaigns facilitated through the City’s Fire and Rescue Services in collaboration with the Disaster Risk Management.
City Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “Most fires occur due to negligence or intoxication. We have noted this for fire incidents that burn down backyard dwellings. Incidents of fires destroying City rental units have also increased over time.
“Open flames must be watched and not left unattended. We are calling on residents to please protect themselves, their families and their neighbours by observing basic fire prevention strategies.
“Last year, the City launched its R150 million CRU repair initiative with the National Housing Finance Corporation, which primarily focuses on the repairs to fire-damaged units across the metro.
“While the programme has made great strides, many fire incidents can be prevented if we take the necessary precautions. Let’s be vigilant and let’s keep one another and our families safe this festive season,” Booi said.
Some of the fire safety tips included in the City’s initiative include ideas on how to secure candles for use, information on illegal electricity connections and the dangers of lighting a fire when tired or intoxicated.
City Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “The City’s disaster risk management teams are active on the ground and will continue to spread awareness about fire prevention and help to educate residents about the ways they can enhance safety. It is a team effort. Reducing the risks of fires is a task that can only be achieved when we all work together."
“Should a fire break out, and it looks like it will get out of hand, please call the City’s Public the Emergency Communication Centre immediately. Make sure that you give the correct address, and if possible, a landmark nearby, like a shop or school. Do not wait for too long before reporting fires as they can spread very quickly.”