Project helps create awareness around fire safety

Right: Garth Lucas, deputy chairperson, Yusuf Allie, chairperson of the Fire Safety Project and Keshwin Rathilall, marketing manager.

Every year fires leave many people homeless and destitute in the Western Cape.

A project to equip children with knowledge about fire safety that may save a few lives was re-launched at Ottery Youth Care Centre, in Plantation Road, on Thursday August 15.

Pupils from Kraaifontein High School were the first participants.

The first launch of the project was in March 2006 where members of SA Fire formed an alliance with the South African Youth and Business Chamber to educate the youth about fire safety and use of fire equipment.

The Fire Safety Project was started by Yusuf Allie, a former Metro Medic and Saudi Red Crescent Aviation Fire and Safety Officer, who left to work overseas in 2013.

Mr Allie returned to continue the project. He said the focus was, “not to make firemen out of the children, but rather to make them aware of the dangers of fires and how to handle themselves when they are faced with that type of scenario.”

He said: “For example, do you know what the three components are of a fire? A fire is made of heat, fuel and oxygen.”

The focus is to teach 40 pupils a week, at no cost to schools and parents. Each class will have 20 pupils and will last five hours.

The training includes effective use of fire extinguishers, causes and types of fires, fire spread and control, theory of combustion, what to do when a fire is discovered and confined space entrapment.

Mr Allie said after the facilitator informed the children about fire safety, they had to apply their knowledge in a real fire scenario.