As I write this, it has been a bad week for Jozi from a safety and security point of view. The two major incidents were an armed robbery at the Johannesburg International Airport, then there was the horrific fire in the Johannesburg CBD.
In the former case, people have been arrested (see http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1907029,00.html) but who can be charged - and what charges can be laid against them - for the fire? And who is responsible for ensuring the safety and legality of such buildings? According to daily press reports the fire started because of overloading on electrical plug points. The fire was the one hazard and danger but added to that was that the residents could not get out of the building and away from the fire. Apparently the key to the security gate could not be found and a passing tow-truck driver pulled the door open with his vehicle. Those trapped in the building could then get out but many of them had placed belongings in the corridors to save them from being burnt, and this blocked the way for those trying to escape. (For more background on this one, see http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_ id=13&art_id=qw1143596880880B216, http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_ id=13&art_id=vn20060330021601407C435084 and http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1907329,00.html) Unfortunately both incidents took place when Hi-Tech was not able to investigate further due to deadline constraints, but we will definitely be following up on them for future issues. But in the meantime, check out the Fire Handbook 2006 and read the advice we received on fire detection and prevention from various contributors.
Ifsec takes place next month, if you have not booked yet, SASA once again has its organised tour going over, booking forms are available at http://www.sasa-national.co.za/pdf/IFSEC%202006%20Booking%20Form.pdf.
Till next month,
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