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Opinion / Columnist

Fire Hydrants can save lives and property

20 Nov 2020 at 08:26hrs | Views
Latest disasters Ginimbi, Kariba accidents and the burning down of Chirundu block of flat in Belvedere have all been caused by fire outbreaks. From our simple analysis of why Zimbabweans are losing their lives and property due to fires, our basic conclusion is the local authorities have abandoned the installation of fire hydrants as part of their urban planning. It is rare to see a fire hydrant in Zimbabwe, even today's children do not know what a hydrant is. A fire hydrant or firecock is a connection point on which firefighters can connect into a water supply. It is a component of active fire protection. Everytime there is a fire outbreak you hear the general public saying, "fire brigade yauya isina mvura", how do you expect a fire brigade to carry 20,000 litres or more of water to fight a raging fire. In those incidents that is why the fire brigade should only be able to connect to fire hydrants.

In Zimbabwe most places, particularly in cities where a lot of people work and live, fire hazards are a relentless worry. With this reason, it is crucial for our local authorities to have fire safety services and systems and a source of water that can be quickly accessible and locally accessed. To prevent unnecessary deaths and property destruction, fire hydrants provide a stable place for storage and water supply which should be supported by the local authority. Zimbabwe is now dominated by borehole and there is now a need to change our laws where fire hydrant are connected to a secondary source that is readily available from underground pipes or perhaps a dam.

According to urban planners, fire hydrants do not operate alone, they are one part of a complex system that has been designed to ensure that an area has complete coverage for fire protection. Whenever you spot a fire hydrant, it is obvious that it is installed in that location strategically to give that neighbourhood complete access to a water source when needed. There are two components that make a fire hydrant work, the water supply and a fire hose. The way that fire hydrants are actually designed and connected gives firefighters the required easy access to connect their equipment and quickly deal with the emergency situation.

We call upon the urban planner and the city engineers to seriously consider the installation of fire hydrant as their top priority. A fire hydrant is simply a point where people are able to tap into a water supply and use it to assist firefighters in putting out fires. By connecting a hose to a hydrant, they gain access to all the water they need to douse a burning building. Lets stop unnecessary deaths and property destruction in Zimbabwe.


Source - Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi
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