Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Training workshops aim at combating paraffin fires this winter

By Ofentse Mokae
15 April 2010


As the winter season approaches residents especially those within informal communities are warned about the dangers when using paraffin stoves as they are one of the main courses of fires.

Given this, paraffin safety trainer workshops will be conducted throughout the province.

The workshops are a joint initiative between the Western Cape Local Government Department through, its Disaster Management Centre, and the Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa.

Phumzile Mteyi Regional manager of the association says the aim of the training is to educate Community Development Workers and municipal disaster management officials around the dangers associated with paraffin.

“This is done in order to prevent and assist communities with paraffin related incidents,” Mteyi said.

The department says the training also forms part of the province’s pro-active approach to reduce paraffin fires this winter, covering the safe use of paraffin, prevention of paraffin poisoning etc.

“The reality is that the Western Cape, like other provinces, is affected by numerous incidents relating to the use of paraffin, including the paraffin poisoning and informal settlement fires which often lead to injuries or lost of life,” the department says in a statement.

According to the Paraffin Association, informal settlements in South Africa experience around 45 000 paraffin-related fires each year, resulting in about 3 000 deaths.

The association adds that more than 11 million South Africans come into contact with paraffin every day.

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