Substance abuse and negligence feature prominently as causes of fires in Cape Town‚ statistics for the last three-and-a-half years show.
Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service says it is gravely concerned by the trends emerging from fire fatality statistics gathered over the last few years.
Between January 2015 and June 2018‚ there were 511 fire-related fatalities in Cape Town. Of these 53% of the victims were adult males, 46% of fatalities happened over weekends and 58% of fatalities occurred between midnight and 6am.
“We’ve indicated time and again that negligence and substance abuse play a role in a number of fires that our staff respond to. This statistical analysis supports this assertion‚ which means that we will have to further increase our public education and awareness drives.
“However‚ we also appeal to the public to assist us by being more vigilant around flammable materials at all times‚” said the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services JP Smith.
Smith said that in the last financial year‚ the Fire and Rescue Service had seen a reduction in the number of vegetation fires‚ but increases in numerous other categories‚ including residential fires‚ building fires and transport-related fires.
“The building and transport fires are directly linked to the increase in protest action that we’ve witnessed over the past year and include the apparent arson attacks targeting Metrorail.