File photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Owing to the extremely cold weather conditions, the City of Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS) on Wednesday said it has deployed disaster management monitoring teams to all seven regions.

EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the significant drop in temperatures meant that most of the residents would be exposed to extremely cold temperatures forcing them to use heating and lighting appliances to try and warm themselves. He said these appliances might be dangerous if used unsafely.

He said they will remain on high alert to ensure they are able to respond to any emergency which might occur, adding that the main focus would be on the 189 informal settlements throughout the City, who are seen as the most vulnerable to fire incidents with the cold weather conditions. 

"We urge all our residents who are within the formal residential areas not to leave the heaters unattended while in use to avoid fire incidents, keep candles away from children and they should not be left unattended in a room with a candle, candles, matches and lighters should be put away from the reach of children," said Mulaudzi.

"A candle should not be used to light stoves or in a confined space, Braizers or Imbawula use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide inhalation, before you go to bed take it outside paraffin and put your paraffin stove on a flat surface where it can't fall or get knocked over, use safe containers to store paraffin."

Mulaudzi said before people go to bed they must switch off heaters and stoves at the plug and always put out cigarettes carefully.

African News Agency (ANA)