Fire and rescue incidents drop 13 percent year-on-year, Cape Town
The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service noticed a definite downturn in overall incidents during April and May this year, resulting in a marked reduction in overall annual statistics. For the 2019/20 financial year, fire fighters responded to 22 497 incidents, including fires and special service calls like motor vehicle accidents, trauma and hazmat incidents. The total represented a 13 percent drop year-on-year, with a decline in several other categories, as outlined below:
The nationwide lockdown definitely impacted on the number of calls that the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service responded to in the last few months; particularly special service calls like motor vehicle accidents and trauma incidents. This period, of course, corresponded with the initial ban on alcohol and severely curtailed public movement.
The decline in the number of incidents is good news but that is cold comfort to those families who have lost loved ones as a result of fires. This year, there were numerous incidents where fires were limited to single structures but with multiple fatalities and we need to continue working on our fire safety efforts, in partnership with communities, as this requires a collective effort.
An analysis of the causes of residential fires for the period April to June, indicated that electrical faults and open flames accounted for just over 45 percent of all incidents.
The City of Cape Town renews its call on residents to please take fire safety seriously in the home. The dangers are apparent and it is up to each and every one of us to ensure that our environment is as fireproof as possible. More so, vigilance is key, particularly while cooking or using heating devices. It is also imperative to check electrical connections regularly and not to overload sockets.
The demands on our fire and rescue service grow steadily each year. While we are working hard to increase our resources to meet that demand, it needs everyone to play a role. In informal settlements, we appeal to residents to ensure that structures are built in a way that allows fire fighters to access the area in the event of a fire.
The increasing attacks on our fire fighters is another issue that needs addressing, because ultimately it means a slower response time to incidents, or no response at all if a situation is particularly volatile.
Fire safety is everyone’s business and key to that is ensuring the men and women who are trained to assist in your time of need are able to do their jobs without threat.
Source: Media Office, City of Cape Town