200 smoke alarms installed at Wallacedene informal settlement

The Western Cape Environmental Affairs Department says the project is aimed at combating fire-related deaths in informal settlements across the Western Cape.

A general view of the smoke alarm device that has been launched by the Western Cape Environmental Affairs Department in an attempt to save lives of people living in the informal settlements. Picture: Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - At least 200 smoke alarms have been installed at the Wallacedene informal settlement by the Western Cape Environmental Affairs Department, potentially saving hundreds of lives.

On Tuesday, MEC Anton Bredell gave an update on the pilot project his department rolled out at the informal settlement over a period of two years.

The project was a partnership between the department, Stellenbosch University and Santam, and costs approximately half a million rand.

The department says the project is aimed at combating fire-related deaths in informal settlements across the Western Cape.

Bredell says the results have been outstanding.

The small round device is installed inside the structure, on the roof and will alert the household if there is a potential fire.

“This kind of device will help us to save lives. It will help us to buy some time until we find other solutions.”

He adds the battery life of the device lasts for at least 10 years.

The department’s Rodney Eksteen says fire deaths usually occur between 10pm and 2am when people are asleep. They then inhale the smoke and go into a deeper sleep, and by the time the fire breaks out it’s too late.

“It’s imperative that we have some kind of early warning device that’s going to empower and provide the time, enough time for people to escape and deal with the problem themselves.”

Bredells says the department is engaging with municipalities in the province to have the project implemented in other informal settlements.

Smoke Alarm Installation Programme Launch

Fire is everyone's fight! Today the Western Cape Department of Local Government initiated the next phase of its innovative smoke alarm project for high fire risk communities. Find out more by watching our short video. #SmokeAlarmsSaveLives

Posted by Western Cape Government on Tuesday, 18 October 2016

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)