Spokesperson for the City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Robert Mulaudzi spoke about the fire incidents that occur during the winter season. Speaking from the Kathrada Park Informal Settlement, Mulaudzi mentioned that this area is notorious for such incidents.
Fire incidents are common in informal settlements
He explained that fire incidents in most informal settlements are commonly caused by heating devices. Paraffin stoves, candles and other items, if not used correctly, tend to cause fires, said Mulaudzi.
“Also the way the shacks are built, you can see they are next to each other. If there is a fire incident on the other shack, the fire can quickly spread to the next shack,”
He added that these fires spread fast and before you know it, 1 000 shacks are engulfed in a blaze. Mulaudzi said it is very important for citizens to look after themselves during the winter season.
Joburg EMS provides tips on staying safe this winter season
He noted that paraffin stoves should not be left unattended and most importantly, he encouraged citizens to purchase their goods from reputable hardware stores.
He further encouraged residents to use old peanut butter or mayonnaise jars as candle holders and not wine bottles or teacups. Mulaudzi also spoke about imbawula. These are makeshift coal stoves made with large tins with holes cut in the sides.
“We are encouraging our residents out there to remove it (imbawula), take it out before you go to bed so that you can prevent incidents of smoke inhalation. You may not be able to wake up in the morning if you use the imbawula while you are sleeping,”
He then urged residents in life-threatening situations to contact Johannesburg EMS on 011 375 5911.
Johannesburg EMS on high alert as cold front lands in Gauteng
Previously, it was reported that Johannesburg Emergency Services are on high alert to respond to any incidents that might be reported as temperatures are set to plummet in Gauteng on Wednesday.
Regional forecaster Gauteng Weather had warned of freezing temperatures as a result of the cold front and strong winds currently sweeping parts of the country. Johannesburg EMS spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi said they are on high alert and are monitoring vulnerable areas such as informal settlements.
Mulaudzi also said the issue of illegal electricity connections is starting to become a problem as well and urged residents to report such. Read the full story here.