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​The provincial pre-winter safety campaign was launched in Joburg, at which schoolchildren learned about avoiding the dangers of fire.
FOREWARNED is forearmed is the prevailing wisdom, and it is with this in mind that the City runs safety education campaigns, with the overriding desire to keep people alive and healthy.

Proper use of braziersProper use of braziers reduces incidents of injury and deathWinter is now well and truly here, bringing with it some specific threats to safety. Given all of this, Joburg’s emergency management services (EMS) hosted the launch of the Gauteng public information, education and relations (pier) pre-winter safety campaign, which looked at safe energy sources and safety in the home.

To create maximum exposure and education about safety, joint provincial awareness initiatives take place in each city in Gauteng. This year, Joburg hosted the campaign on 11 May at Florida Park’s Besafe Centre in Roodepoort. Representatives from other Gauteng municipalities were also at the gathering.

“We bring you warm and kind regards from the executive mayor of Johannesburg, councillor Parks Tau,” said Matshidiso Mfikoe, the member of Joburg’s mayoral committee for public safety. “He has personally requested me to greet everybody who has come here today and [said] that he wished that the launch of the Gauteng [Pre] Winter Safety Campaign could be a success.”

She explained that earlier this year, in his state of the City speech, Tau emphasised that Johannesburg would be a high-performing metropolitan government that pro-actively contributed to and built a sustainable, socially inclusive, locally integrated and globally competitive Gauteng City Region.

The safety campaign was testimony that the City would always be in the frontline in making it a point that all its residents were safe and secure at all times, she said. “As part of the EMS’s ongoing winter safety awareness programmes, this event will launch and confirm the City’s commitment to making Johannesburg a safe city for all of its people.”

Use of faulty electrical appliancesUse of faulty electrical appliances is one main cause of household firesTo support this bold ambition, the Gauteng pier programme had nominated Joburg to host the launch of this year’s pre-winter safety campaign.

Since June 2011, Joburg’s EMS pier unit has trained 81 community emergency response team (cert) members in the Zandspruit informal settlement. They have been trained in basic firefighting; Stay Alive Till We Arrive (Satwa), which is a basic first aid course; traffic safety management; and domestic violence. Earlier in the day, before the gathering moved to Florida Park, the first group of 50 of these cert members received Jozi safety kits, which concluded their training.

Each kit contains a bucket, which can be filled with sand or water to put out fires; a small paraffin stove, which has a safety mechanism that switches it off if it is tilted or left unattended; a paraffin bottle; a solar heated light; and a small first aid kit.

Apart from the education initiative in Zandspruit, 120 children from the Arthur Mathews Primary School in Florida learned how to operate safe paraffin stoves; what to do in case of a fire; about the dangers of smoking while lying down; and about the dangers of unsupervised fires.

According to pier officer Deon Esau, primary school children are being educated so that they can relay the message to their parents and other grown-ups to be responsible adults. For all related emergencies call 10177 from landlines or 112 from cellphones.

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