Stay warm, stay safe

The Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services Department (DEMS) has cautioned residents to be on high alert and keep themselves warm, as icy cold weather conditions are expected.

DEMS spokesperson William Ntladi, said cold conditions affecting the City of Cape Town at present are soon expected to encompass the City of Ekurhuleni as well.

“Expected cold weather conditions throughout the week towards the weekend will force different community members to use different heating mechanisms to keep warm,” he said.

“Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) is closely monitoring the situation and is on high alert for any eventualities that might erupt because of fires. Adults, parents and everyone is requested to be on high alert throughout the winter season and not only this week.”

Ntladi pointed out that keeping matches and lighters out of the reach of children is one of the key elements to take care of.

“Braziers and all types of heaters (electrical, paraffin and gas), should not be left unattended. Sleeping with a live (switched-on) heater is still far too common a practice, which has treacherous outcomes. Braziers, fireplaces and coal stoves produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide as some of the derivatives of a burning fuel and they need to be closely monitored at all times.

“Ventilation needs to be initiated to allow fresh, oxygenated air into the house. The best solution is to sleep under several blankets to keep warm,” he cautioned.

Ntaldi said veld fires near major routes could either be caused by spontaneous combustion, deliberate actions or human errors such as lit cigarette butts being thrown onto the dry grass or other combustible materials next to the road. Vehicle pile-up crashes or accidents are likely to occur because of obscured vision.

Other disasters to look out for include multiple shack fires, bricks-and-mortar structural fires, thatch roof structural fires and veld fires fuelled by strong winds, which can spread rapidly, leaving massive destruction of properties and in the worst case scenario, loss of life for humans and animals.

“Residents are advised to listen to their radios and watch television for warnings on the weather and to adhere to the safety tips from the officials.”

“The Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) Department is always prepared to respond timeously to all incidents within the municipality. Communities are also expected to assist in mitigating the occurrences of emergencies. Over and above this, DEMS is also on high alert for any emergencies around the city.“

In case of emergencies residents may call 011 458 0911, 10177 or 112 from their cellphones.

Ensure that you have the emergency call centre numbers saved and visible at home or saved in your cellular phone.

Speak clearly on the phone when reporting an emergency.

Provide the operators with all the details required.

Do not end the conversation until all questions are answered.

‘Be on high alert during thunderstorms’ – Emergency Services

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