Five Minutes, Sixty Meters, Two Hundred Meters discussed on BBC World Service


Two hundred meters and then we have to talk to manipulate their ways through the so these are very very big challenges that you face and used to actually gain access with a sub compact that record to be con get access to the actual place this actually burning and then the other big factory ease the wind the wind is strong which owns a stopping reasons are very very little you can see like within five minutes a big section can be wiped out second twenty eighteen we did our biggest fight experiment basically we burnt down twenty full scale informal settlement two innings in a single taste and what Dr Richard Boles from Stellenbosch university has been studying settlement fires he showed me the video of an experiment when he actually built models of shacks and set fire to them yeah we said one two four and basically in about five minutes between from four homes to twenty homes fully involved in the file this footage is speeded up but I can see after five minutes pretty much all the homes are now fully ablaze at about fifteen to twenty minutes the experiment was done all twenty homes that collapsed what's it for one I think yeah I mean incredible I mean with saying that seventy minutes now on the on the type and everything's gotten really I mean that value to give you time to call the five okay to get your possessions out yeah so fast so why do we see so many files like this breaking out their number of issues firstly it the fact that you've got bad wiring and settlements you have overloaded plaques you have people cooking on paraffin stoves you've got kids playing dnia paraffin says who then will knock it off you have Austin a taxi with a lot of different factors that increase the chance of ignition and then once they is a fire the fact that you've got high density of homes run homes right on top of each other with lots of combustible material no real files so once you have ignition and it spreads very very rapidly sent a formal house one who may be affected an informal settlement it's just a question of is a three five ten fifty a hundred or thousand homes in small offices in the center of Cape Town as a young company called limb Connie who's been looking at this problem can we send any of these alarms off to see what they sound like the other thing everybody yeah right that's the sound of the alarm that's pretty passing you and I was I went off yes it may just be a fire alarm but it's one that's been designed especially for informal settlements like Messi Ross what the to see is one of the company's founders he started designing low cost five detectives when he was an engineering student and he took one of his first models to a settlement to see what they thought we ran a little alarm in the hole in the in the community and one of the community to said well my name is Khan here that so that's really not going to work and I think that both the real Spock I need to know just as much about my neighbors files and you know about my own which is really different to like normal formal homes because to some extent you case less when somebody's when your neighbors homes on fire but in full settlement with homes of this far apart it really matters and so we finally got this idea that we will need to focus on how can we create a community wide alert to the challenge of five and you say you've been through various designs and now at the stage where we've got the one you go on your hands what makes that far different first of all it senses for the red arise of temperature in a home as opposed to smoke and then when it triggers a salon it'll ring inside that first home and then within twenty seconds all the neighboring homes within sixty meters warring with that hello so the whole community knows this is a fight starts then we will send text messages out to every single homeowner in the area so that even if people are at work or other or else with bill knows he is the finest arsenic and she respond that homeowner will actually get that message saying is a fire inside your home please contact your family name is make sure that you know what's going on there how would he found that this is change the way the community behaves has it changed the way the community pace when a fire breaks out you really creating a communal response to five you creating that meet that reality with a naval respond your neighbors neighbors neighbor as far away as sixty meters can know about the fire and everybody can come together to assist people use bucket brigades with water people use and such interesting tactics actually even people will break down homes around where a fire starts to create a firebreak and so we have so many of these stories which shows that combination of early warning and letting people know who either on day or on directly seeing that fi can really make a huge difference in people be able to be more effective in dealing with the five I'm Connie of now distributed forty thousand alarms to settlements like Messi almost all the given away free with the help of corporate and NGO partners they working and is this in your lap he's my son his name is gone now how.

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