Residents urged to be extra cautious in cold weather

Published Jul 8, 2024


City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) urged residents to exercise caution when using heating devices during this extremely cold temperatures.

The warning comes after firefighters responded to a flat on fire in Eldorado Park Extension 2 on Sunday at around 8pm.

Some residents accused the fire brigade of responding to the scene without water. However, EMS confirmed that there was water and the people did not know the process.

EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said fire engines have a centrifugal pump tank which has about 3500 litres of water and on the side, there is a pump which gives pressure to the water so that when it comes out it has power.

He said when a fire truck arrives at an incident, it first uses water from the centrifugal pump while they look for operating fire hydrants in the area.

“In that area, the fire hydrants are damaged. Around the block of flats, there was no functional fire hydrant because they are supposed to be found a few metres away from the building.

“The woman who said there was no water does not understand how fire engines operate, hence she said it did not have water. The fire engine did have water,” Mulaudzi said.

Damaged or stolen fire hydrants is another issue, he said. It is a known fact that some people sell them at scrapyards and those that are underground are used to bypass water.

Mulaudzi said at this stage, no injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is still the subject of investigations.

“It’s extremely cold in most of parts Johannesburg, and residents are urged to exercise caution when using heating devices, ie heaters, and not to leave them unattended while in use to prevent fire incidents at home,” said Mulaudzi.

Firefighters remained on high alert overnight, monitoring all seven regions of the city for any emergencies which might occur.

Mulaudzi said EMS noted with concern the warning from the SA Weather Services of a cold front which is expected to hit most parts of the city from Monday into the rest of the week.

He said these extremely cold temperatures will force most residents to use heating devices to try to stay warm and in the process leaving them vulnerable to fire incidents at home.

When using heating devices such as heaters, paraffin stoves, etc, residents should not to leave them unattended, he warned.

Mulaudzi said residents using braziers or imbaula are urged to use them in a well ventilated area .

“The City remains on high alert monitoring all regions targeting the most vulnerable communities in our informal settlements to make sure that we can effectively respond to all emergencies which might occur during these extremely cold temperatures,” Mulaudzi said.

All 29 fire stations are fully operational to deal with all emergencies that might occur during this cold front, he added.

For any life threatening emergencies, residents are urged to call the emergency call centre on 011 375 5911.

The Star

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