Fire

2018-12-06 06:00
Nkwenkwe Mkhahlwa pointing up to his new smoke detector device installed in his shack.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Nkwenkwe Mkhahlwa pointing up to his new smoke detector device installed in his shack.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Residents at SST informal settlement in Town Two said they were thrilled by the installation of new devices in their shacks in an attempt to minimise fires.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre in partnership with a leading insurance firm, installed about 500 smoke alarms in the area on Saturday.

The devices were installed after 342 shacks were ravaged by fire and left thousands of people homeless two months ago.

The residents described the smoke detector devices as a great initiative that would save their lives.

One of the beneficiaries Nkwenkwe Mkhahlwa said the devices will make a difference.

“It is helpful because there is no need to call fire fighters when there is a fire.

“You just press it and rings at the fire station. What I like the most about it is that it senses everything. When you cook and the vapour goes up to the device, or you smoke, it will ring,” said Mkhahlwa.

He said the City took their shack numbers to easily identify a troubled or burning shack.

“Even if I see my neighbours shack is burning, I can press my alarm to report to the fire fighters,” he stated.

He added that he wishes the City can install it to all informal areas in the province.

Head of the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, Greg Pillay said most fires started while people were asleep. He said the smoke alarms are meant to act as a warning system with the ultimate aim to reduce the extent of fires as well as the risk of injury or even death.

He said the Disaster Risk Management Centre will ensure that each recipient is fully appraised of how the alarm works and how to test it to ensure it remains in proper working order.

Pillay described the smoke alarm as a photo electric device that detects smoke particles.

He said the devices are fitted with high performance lithium batteries that last for the life of the product which comes with a 10 year warranty.

The devices are free.

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