EMS on high alert this winter

Photo: File/Chantelle Fourie.

The City of Johannesburg is often dry and cold during winter with an increase in fires, especially in informal settlements.

This is according to the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, as he urged residents to be safe ahead of the winter season.

He said residents are tempted to use all sorts of heating and lighting appliances in order to warm themselves and, in most cases, use unsafe items making themselves vulnerable to fires.

“We would like to urge our residents to make sure that all the necessary safety precautions are taken into consideration when using candles, paraffin stoves, heaters or any other heating and lighting appliances so that we can prevent the number of fire incidents and fatalities during this winter period ahead of us,” he said.

The City’s Emergency Services will remain on high alert throughout this period so they can respond swiftly to any emergency which might occur, with the main focus on the 189 informal settlements in the City.

“We know that they are the most vulnerable to fires during winter. We also want to urge all our citizens who are within the formal residential areas not to leave heaters unattended while in use to avoid fire incidents,” he said.

Read: Winter safety campaign begins in Joburg 

Here are some tips …

  • Candle safety
  • Keep candles away from children
  • A child should not be left unattended in a room with a candle
  • Store candles, matches and lighters out of reach of children
  • A candle should not be used to light stoves
  • A candle should not be used in a confined space.

Braziers or imbaula

  • Use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide inhalation, before you go to bed, take it outside.


  • Put your paraffin stove on a flat surface where it cannot fall or get knocked over
  • Use safe containers to store paraffin, like safety cap bottles.

Before you go to bed or out

  • Never go to bed or out with a candle or paraffin lamp still burning
  • Switch off heaters and stoves at the plug before going to bed or out
  • Always put out cigarettes carefully. Do not smoke in bed.

Details: For any life-threatening emergencies call 10177 on Telkom landline or 112 on your cellphone or 011 375 5911.

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