The SA Fire Watch organisation encourages schools in the Western Cape to learn about fire safety through its school project.
According to Yusuf Allie, the founder of the programme, it aims to educate the youth on fire safety and the use of fire equipment.
The SA Fire Schools project re-launched its programme on Friday 15 August at the SA Fire Watch in Ottery.
Allie says there is a need for everyone to acquire knowledge about fires.
“Learners need to know what to do in case of an emergency,” he says.
The programme exposes learners to extreme conditions, teaching them about the dangers of fires.
It was first established in 2007 by members of SA Fire and the South African Youth and Business Chambers.
To date, the fire training academy has trained about 2 500 learners in the Western Cape.
The programme aims to train about 40 learners from Grade 10 to 12 every week at no cost to schools, parents or the department.
The programme, which accommodates 20 learners per class, takes five hours to complete.
Allie says the intense programme is available for schools and has both theoretical and practical aspects. The programme includes the following: effective use of fire extinguishers, causes and types of fires, fire spread and control, the theory of combustion, what to do when a fire is discovered and confined space entrapment.
He says although the programme is intense, that’s what makes it so special.
“We want to give learners an opportunity to come and develop their skills and I believe it is our social responsibility to give back,” says Allie.
He says he feels like they have a responsibility to teach learners these skills and ensure safety at schools.
Allie says the learners can take these skills and apply it at home. “The learners will understand what is being taught and they will be able to confidently extinguish a fire.”
They are not trying to make firemen or firewomen but are assisting learners and schools by teaching them extra skills, he says. “This programme is aimed at assisting children and can potentially save lives in the community.”
He says when the learners leave the premises, they are excited and go to their schools and tell the other learners about their experience.
“We save children and provide them with an extra skill.”
Allie says he believes this programme has made a difference in the community. Children speak about the programme and encourage other kids to come to their premises.
Allie says he hopes schools will take advantage of this opportunity and encourage all schools to get in touch with the SA Fire Schools Project.
- The SA Fire Watch is situated at the Ottery Youth Care Centre in Plantation Road, Ottery. For more information visit