Fire Hero is a ‘smart’ educational strategy that combines leadership training and critical survival skills for residents of informal settlements. The programme is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of Fire & Security Techniques of Centurion.
The company was a key exhibitor at the City of Tshwane’s Winter Awareness Campaign in the Kopanong Informal Settlement on 14 June. This was aimed at informing residents about fire awareness and safety during winter, when the risk of fire is the greatest. City of Tshwane Emergency Management Services, Disaster Management, and Metro Police all gave presentations, in addition to Omolemo Omogolo Burn Survivors South Africa.
“With trained Fire Heroes in high-risk areas such as informal settlements, the risk of fire hazards will be minimised. This will not only result in less casualties and damage to property and loss of possessions, but it will reduce the environmental impact of fires,” Fire & Security Techniques Neil Hughes explains.
“Not only local communities stand to benefit from our Fire Hero programme, but the entire economy as a whole, due to the inherent job-creation prospects,” he adds. The programme involves basic training to Fire First Mate level, in order to be able to identify fire risks. Fire Hero status is achieved upon completing additional modules with the Fire Protection Association of South Africa.
Hughes reveals that Fire & Protection Techniques is in discussion with local government departments such as Social Development and Housing and Human Settlements in order to have the Fire Hero programme recognised formally.
“We would like to work in conjunction with the City of Tshwane’s Chief Fire Officer in providing professional firefighting training. Our vision is to get the various fire departments involved in training residents from all informal settlements,” Hughes reveals. “It is envisaged that the various fire departments ‘adopt’ a Fire Hero, and follow his or her respective career path as a potential community leader.”
Fire & Security Techniques also gave a live demonstration of its latest FST Fire Orb portable fire extinguisher technology, which is ideal as a first-response fire-prevention method for informal settlements lacking both the necessary expertise and equipment.
The latest FST Fire Orb portable fire extinguisher technology from Fire Security & Techniques is a fire-suppression agent that activates automatically when it comes into contact with fire. The unique ball-shaped design avoids hazardous issues such as refilling of powder. The devices are simply rolled onto any fire, where they activate and quickly douse any flames, without posing any danger to residents in close proximity.
“We are in discussions with the relevant local authorities in the City of Tshwane to adopt the FST Fire Orbs as a standard fire-suppression system that can be rolled out quickly and cost-effectively for informal settlements,” Hughes concludes.
About Fire & Security Techniques
ISO 9001: 2008 approved, Fire & Security Techniques is Africa’s largest supplier of fire-suppression solutions. It was established in 1994 in response to the demise of ozone-depleting Halon as a fire-suppression agent. Fire & Security Techniques supplies internationally-approved suppression hardware and extinguishing agents used to provide 24/7 fire protection for high-value resources in communications and data-processing centres, for example. It has also partnered with Fire-Eater Denmark, one of Europe’s leading fire-suppression manufacturers, and creator of the Fire-Eater Inergen (IG541) system. Fire & Security Techniques provides technical, commercial, and back-up support throughout Africa to service providers of automatic fire-suppression systems. Key distribution partners located throughout Africa provide recharge facilities.