What can be done to avoid shack fires?

Following the recent spate of fires that broke in the Hout Bay area, CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies asks what's been done to make sure people in informal settlements don't have to go through similar incidents.

Rodney Eksteen, assistant director of Western Cape Government Fire and Rescue unit says informal settlements are a bit difficult to manage and it's tricky to find the appropriate type of technology that's going to work in that environment in terms of detecting fires.

He says in South Africa smoke alarms are not required by law in dwellings unlike other countries which also poses a challenging.

There are smoke detectors that are currently been installed in pilot sites, says Eksteen. They have installed 1 500 devices and community members have been trained on how to operate them.

This problem is significant, it is complex and it requires support from all levels of government communities and individuals.

Rodney Eksteen, assistant director of Western Cape Government Fire and Rescue unit

In South Africa we don't have a long history of safety culture... it takes time to create that awareness.

Rodney Eksteen, assistant director of Western Cape Government Fire and Rescue unit

To hear more of this conversation, please listen below:

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