By Thembelani Moyo

Some residents of Embuzini informal settlement in Mlalankunzi, Soweto recently received 100 winter fire safety kits from the City of Johannesburg.
The handover of the kits was done concurrently with the launch of the2017 Winter Fire Safety Campaign.

The launch was done by Public Safety MMC Michael Sun. Speaking during the handover, which is the City’s fourth phase, Environmental Management Services Media Liaison Officer Robert Mulaudzi said the donation is an annual event and reduces fires, fatalities and injuries.

“We’re empowering residents to deal with some of the emergencies before we, as the professionals, arrive on the scene. This is part of our initiative of building resilient communities, that are capable of dealing with any emergency that might occur. Many of these fires are preventable if only residents could use proper cooking and lighting equipment and know how to identify the risks in their households and remove them,” Mulaudzi said.

The safety kits that were handed over include a para-safe stove, burn kit to treat minor burns, solar lantern light, paraffin container with a safety cap, smoke detector, fire retard spray and a 7.25l b water bucket. These are meant to curb the start and spreading of fire during the winter season.

The City of Johannesburg revealed that Embuzini was not the only informal settlement that was helped. Other settlements such as Kliptown, Soweto have already received the kits. Lusaka in Emndeni, and Tladi all in Soweto are set to receive their kits.

Every year EMS distributes 1 000 safety kits under the Winter Safety Campaign to various vulnerable communities across Johannesburg in a bid to curb the spread of fire. The intervention was initiated in 2009 and gobbles about a million rand every year. After the handover teams are trained to help the beneficiaries of the safety campaign.