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Fighting fires in a drought<h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​​​​​About</h2><p>​​​​​​​Our <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Departments/Fire%20and%20Rescue%20Service%20Department">Fire and Rescue Service </a>has reassessed the way they will fight fires according to the amount of available water in Cape Town. It is focusing on the three main firefighting areas, but we should all be aware of what is being done and how we need to prepare ourselves and assist.</p> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​General and vegetation fires </h2> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info quickstat">​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Compressed air foam system </h4><p>Fire-retardant foam is created by mixing water, a foam solution and air, and this is sprayed under pressure onto a fire. The foam is more effective than water, as it cuts off oxygen by blanketing the flames and cooling the fire.</p></div></div></span></span><span> </span> <p>​​​​​​​We have a number of initiatives in place to save municipal drinking water, without compromising fighting fires in Cape Town. These include:</p><ul><li>Conducting a study to determine whether treated effluent can be used to fight fires, without detrimental effects on people and equipment</li><li>Contracting helicopters to use seawater (as far as possible) to fight vegetation fires in areas inaccessible to firefighters </li><li>Cordoning off areas around veld fires with bear beaters, rakes and other equipment</li><li>Dispatching, where possible, compressed air foam system (CAFS) vehicles that use a foam/water concentrate mixture to contain fires</li><li>Identifying access points at alternative water sources (dams, rivers, vleis) to extract water during emergency operations</li><li>Installing water storage tanks at fire stations to harvest rainwater and minimise the impact on drinking water</li><li>Placing greater emphasis on perimeter firefighting and monitoring</li></ul> <span> <p>As a last resort, we will use seawater in our fire fighting vehicles to fight fires, however, this is not recommended as it could corrode equipment.​​​​​</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>We will always consider life and property as a first priority. If it is necessary to use valuable drinking water to fight a particular fire, it will be done without hesitation.</p></div></div></span><span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Residential and commercial buildings</h2> <span> <p>Property owners, businesses and facility managers in the public and private sector need to be aware of fire prevention.​​​​​​​​</p> <p>At home and at work, make sure you:</p> <ul><li>Ensure all fire extinguishers and hose reels are in good working order and serviced</li><li>Ensure that all staff and occupants know the fire emergency procedures, i.e. conduct regular fire drills and fire prevention awareness initiatives</li><li>Ensure your multistorey building’s water supply system (booster pumps and rooftop storage) is in working order and in compliance with the <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Bylaws%20and%20policies/Water%20By-law%202010.pdf" target="_blank">Water By-law (2010)</a> and <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Bylaws%20and%20policies/Water%20Amendment%20By-law%202018.pdf" target="_blank">Amendment (2018)</a><br></li><li>Establish and maintain fire breaks around the property</li><li>Remember that <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Media-and-news/Drought%20crisis%20guidelines%20for%20water%20rationing">pressure reduction</a> is under way, which could affect the way your business manages a fire. High-rises and buildings in higher-lying areas will see drastically reduced water pressure.</li><li>Speak to your insurers and other relevant bodies to make sure you are aware of all requirements and consequences of fires during a drought, when water pressure is probably low. </li></ul></span></span> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>The City cannot be held liable for damage to private infrastructure resulting from <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Media-and-news/Drought%20crisis%20guidelines%20for%20water%20rationing" target="_blank"> water rationing </a>or its associated operations. </p></div></div></span></span><span> <p>​​​​​​​Find out more on <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Work%20and%20business/Commercial-health-and-safety/Commercial-fire-safety/fire-safety">fire safety</a>.</p> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Informal settlements </h2> <p>We are aiming to ensure that water supply and pressure remains adequate in informal settlements at all times. This is due to the risks informal structures pose and also the high population density of the areas. </p> <p>Our regular ‘fire season’ campaign will spread awareness and educate residents of informal settlements about fire safety and prevention.</p> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​Contact us​​​​​​​</h2> <p> <strong>Emergencies</strong></p> <p> <em>Landline:<br></em><em><a>​107</a></em></p> <p> <em>Cellphone: </em> <br><em><a>021 480 7700</a></em>​​​​</p></span></span>GP0|#89755fa2-489b-4359-bcfa-2a18a99d9665;L0|#089755fa2-489b-4359-bcfa-2a18a99d9665|Fighting fires in the drought;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#4fd38f14-3493-49a2-ac32-47bb5287df33;GPP|#df0a3405-0ca1-4617-8047-15a034219fee;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#e9576603-fa8c-4690-9b05-d2173bad197b;L0|#0e9576603-fa8c-4690-9b05-d2173bad197b|Fighting fires in the drought;GPP|#c6d118c1-4a38-4635-ae3d-bf9f7ef0f2a3;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#8c5316e4-0821-49bd-8bb7-1ce1cbe1b2ee;L0|#08c5316e4-0821-49bd-8bb7-1ce1cbe1b2ee|Fighting fires in the drought;GPP|#017ada89-c259-41d0-9d84-6f76b11a01bc;GPP|#0d3239d7-7f51-4f27-91a0-72970cba1d46;GPP|#e88ff549-973f-4e3c-a46c-cfbe61bd6a24The Fire and Rescue Service has reassessed and adapted our fire management strategy.0

 

 

Water Amendment By-law: 31 May 20181197386GP0|#ef51c989-391a-435e-96a1-0535f4eab240;L0|#0ef51c989-391a-435e-96a1-0535f4eab240|By-law amendment;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#2d2209ac-5bcc-4d2a-9da9-05fb21c94ea1;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2018-05-30T22:00:00Z
Water By-law564494GP0|#d103d4c5-1de8-474e-9fc7-0f42143d9284;L0|#0d103d4c5-1de8-474e-9fc7-0f42143d9284|By-law;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#2d2209ac-5bcc-4d2a-9da9-05fb21c94ea1;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2010-09-30T22:00:00Z

 

 

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