The City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services (EMS) on Tuesday July 5 EMS took its annual winter safety campaign to Mangolongolo informal settlement in Denver, eastern Johannesburg, where it distributed 250 Jozi safety kits and provided residents with vital information to help combat the outbreak of fires, which often result in serious injuries or fatalities.
EMS Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi took the media on a tour of the area, where he demonstrated to residents how to use the safety kits.
Mulaudzi said the City was always ready to help keep residents out of harm’s way, especially during the cold winter season when they use all means at their disposal, some of which are unsafe, to keep warm.
He said the EMS, through its Public Information, Education and Relations (PIER) safety campaign, focused on safe energy sources and safety in the homes.
“The recipients of the Jozi safety kits have already been trained in basic firefighting and First Aid with the aim of enabling them to deal with some of the emergencies before we as professionals arrive on the scene.
“This is part of our initiative of building resilient communities capable of dealing with any emergency that might occur. It is our endeavour to reduce fire incidents and fatalities caused by unsafe use of heating and lighting appliances in our communities, especially in the 189 informal settlements,” he said.
Mulaudzi said since the beginning of June EMS had handed out 1 000 Jozi safety kits in Kya Sands, Klipspruit West, Thembelihle and Drieziek in Orange Farm. The safety kit consists of:
- A para-safe stove that cuts off the flame when there is excessive movement;
- Burns unit to treat minor burns;
- Solar lantern light;
- Paraffin container with a safety cap;
- Smoke detector;
- Fire retard spray; and
EMS hands out safety kits at informal settlement
Seven 25-litre buckets to store water.
Mulaudzi said as a result of the annual winter safety campaign, the number of fire-related fatalities was going down. He said there were 32 fatalities in 2015 compared with 103 in 2014.
“We’ve intensified our safety campaign, especially now that it’s school holidays. With the training we’re providing, we hope parents will play their part in keeping their families safe,” he added.
Ntombi Ntshangase, a mother of two, was delighted to receive the safety kit and hoped there would no more fires in the informal settlement.