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Disaster Risk Management Centre reflects on fire mitigation pilot<p>​</p><span><p>The project is being rolled out in partnership with Mandoval Vermiculite Pty Ltd, and aims to coat at least 300 informal structures in Overcome Heights in a fire retardant substance to mitigate the spread of fires, should they occur.  </p><p> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">To date, the vermiculate-based cementitious product, Tekrok C, has been applied to 82 informal structures, equating to approximately 2 000 square metres. <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/IMG20231213113120.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:1069px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>Of the 82 structures, 47 were fully coated and 35 partially coated, due to a lack of access. The selection of the partially coated structures was to create fire buffer zones in order to reduce the spread of fire.</p><p> </p><p>'The project is a first of its kind, and as we reflect on the last five months, the City is satisfied with the progress made, considering that there have been numerous challenges. The extreme weather experienced over winter was a major factor, but the project also had to account for the reinforcement of roofs of some structures, given the weight of the fire retardant product, as well as the application of sealant to leaking roofs. Access between dwellings also prevented the full coating of some, which required the implementation of buffer zones,' said the Chairperson of the Safety and Security Portfolio Committee, Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe.</p><p> </p><p>The pilot project will continue in January 2024, until the target of at least 300 structures coated in the fire retardant substance is met.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/IMG20231213103640.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:1069px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>In addition to this project, the City's Disaster Risk Management Centre and other City departments continue their weekly education and awareness sessions around fire safety in informal settlements.</p><p> </p><p>While fires pose a risk year-round, the strong south-easterly winds that are so prevalent during the summer can increase the risk of runaway fires. </p><p> </p><p>'The City works incredibly hard to amplify fire prevention, but also to mitigate the impacts where these occur. The Overcome Heights pilot project is but one example. There are also ongoing community outreaches focusing on education and awareness linked to fire safety. We appeal to the public to walk this road with us, by making fire safety a priority in their homes and communities, and most importantly, to give emergency workers the space to do their jobs where fires do occur. In recent years we have seen an increase in incidents where firefighters come under attack while trying to save lives and property, and this type of behaviour simply cannot be tolerated,' said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.</p><p> </p><p>Informal settlement fires are very difficult to control and can have devastating consequences for residents.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/IMG20231213102559.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:1069px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>Pay attention to these basic tips and help control the risk:</p><ul><li>Keep a close eye on cooking devices like paraffin or gas stoves, open flames etc.</li><li>Do not cook near a window with a curtain.</li><li>Keep candles in cans, surrounded by sand to snuff out the flame should the candle fall over.</li><li>Do not go to sleep or leave the house with candles or gas lamps still burning.</li><li>Do not smoke in bed and make sure cigarette butts are put out properly before disposing of them.</li><li>Teach children about the dangers of fire, and store flammable items like matches or lighters out of their reach.</li><li>Be aware of the dangers of illegal and faulty electricity connections, which also cause fires.</li><li>Keep a bucket handy to fill with water so that you can extinguish flames easily.</li><li>Keep a bucket of sand to put out paraffin fires.</li><li>Build structures a good distance (at least 3m) apart to prevent fires from spreading; make sure this space is kept open.</li><li>Keep roads and access to structures clear at all times.</li><li>Do not block roads with personal belongings when there is a fire.</li><li>Do not prevent or disturb the work of fire crews fighting fires.<br><br> <br><br> <br><br><strong>End</strong></li></ul><p><br></p>2023-12-12T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#c4b7c6dc-8375-4f5e-9dbc-dfae57ed56e6;L0|#0c4b7c6dc-8375-4f5e-9dbc-dfae57ed56e6|Fire;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#2ed2e328-76fa-47cf-96c1-0c869efb561b;L0|#02ed2e328-76fa-47cf-96c1-0c869efb561b|Disaster Risk Management10

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