Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service has cautioned residents to be extra vigilant amid an increase in residential fires this winter.
The statistics for June 2019 showed a 15 percent decrease in the number of informal settlement fires, but a 15 percent increase in formal residential fires during the same period a year ago, the city said in a statement on Sunday.
In June, the fire brigade responded to 150 formal residential fires. The number of informal residential fires decreased from 150 to 127. There was also a decrease in fatalities, from 12 in June 2018, to six this year.
"Winter presents a challenge, as residents start relying on heaters, electric blankets, and other methods to ward off the chill. The use of so-called galley fires, also known as imbawula, is another big risk factor, as the fumes could result in carbon monoxide poisoning," mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said in the statement.
"Add other potential factors like electrical faults, smoking, open flames and the like, and the need for extreme vigilance becomes apparent," he said.