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EMS by-laws
The implementation of the City’s EMS by-laws is a critical factor in helping to make Joburg a safer place for everyone. The City of Joburg’s Emergency Services Bylaws are published in the Provincial Gazette Extraordinary no.179 of 21 May 2004, notice number 826. 
Fire prevention
Certain self-made fires are prohibited without prior written permission from the Chief of Emergency Management Services or his/her nominee. Storage and accumulation of combustible material are prohibited. The owner/occupier of the property must eliminate the hazard without delay.
Fire protection
  • Design and construction of buildings should encompass water drainage from buildings and access to facilitate fire-fighting and rescue. 
  • Provision should be made for the installation of sprinkler systems, extractor fan systems, emergency exits and fire-fighting equipment.
  • Adequate water supply through the provision of reservoirs for fire-fighting purposes.
  • Storage of flammable substances
All flammable liquid storerooms must be designed in accordance with the requirements of the City’s bylaws. No person may store or allow the storage of any flammable substance in any storeroom without:
A certificate of registration (Section 35); and
  • Compliance with the requirements of the by-laws and any other applicable law.
  • The use of fireworks without authorisation is prohibited in certain circumstances.
  • Fireworks displays must be authorised by Council at least 14 days prior to the proposed event.
  • Application for permission to deal in fireworks must be made from the Chief or his / her nominee at least 30 days in advance.
Certificate of registration for use, handling and storage of flammable substances
  • Flammable Liquid Installation plans must be submitted.
  • A registration certificate will be issued on completion of the installation.
Transport, supply and delivery of dangerous goods 
A transport permit is issued for a period not longer than 12 months. 
The permit should comply with the codes of the South African Bureau of Standards. The owner of any vehicle used for transporting dangerous goods, must: 
  • Be in possession of a valid transport permit issued by the Chief Fire Officer in accordance with the National Road Traffic Act; and
  • Ensure that the transport permit is available in the vehicle for inspection at all times.
Spray painting
Spray painting is prohibited without a permit. The permit is renewable annually after inspection of the premises. Spraying rooms must comply with the City’s bylaws. No person may spray, coat, plate or epoxy-coat any vehicle, article, object or building or part thereof or allow them to be sprayed, coated, plated or epoxy-coated with any flammable substance unless:
  • That person is in possession of a spraying permit (Section 80); and
  • The spraying, coating, plating or epoxy-coating is conducted in a spraying room approved by the Chief Fire Officer on premises registered for that purpose.
EMS encourages all businesses to comply with these bylaws to ensure that
Joburg is a safe city. Inspectors ensure that compliance becomes a way of doing business. 
Contact Arthur Mqwa Tel: 011 222 8088 for further information.

Offences and penalties
Bylaws apply within the area of jurisdiction of the Joburg City Council and in
addition to any applicable national or provincial law.
Any person who:
  • Contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of these by-laws;
  • Fails to comply with any notice issued or displayed in terms of these by-laws;
  • Fails to comply with any lawful instruction given in terms of these by-laws;
  • Obstructs, hinders, or improperly influences or attempts to do so, any authorised representative or employee of the Council in the execution of his or her duties or performance of his or her powers or functions under these by-laws, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, and in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding R50, or in default of payment, to imprisonment not exceeding one day, for every day during the continuance of such offence, after a written notice has been issued by the Council, and served on the person concerned, requesting the discontinuance of such offence.
Be Proactive – prevent a fire
Prevent the loss of life and property by following these safety tips:
Smoke alarms
A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm saves and protects lives.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home as many fatal fires begin late at night or early in the morning.

Draw up an escape plan 
Every second counts! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. Within minutes a house can fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames. The response to a fire is not dependent on luck; it is a matter of planning and practising.
  • Practise escape plans every month.
  • Plan two ways out of each room.
  • Immediately leave your home when a fire occurs.
  • Never open doors that are hot to the touch.
  • Designate a meeting location away from your home.
  • Once you’re out, stay out! 
Residential Fire Sprinklers ​
EMS by-laws