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veld-fire

High insurance cost of veldfires

– Preventative measures can reduce the spreading and damage to property

“Extremely high fire danger conditions are expected over the interior of the Northern Cape, Little and Central Karoo of the Western Cape, north-western interior of the Eastern Cape and the extreme western parts of the North West, according to the South African Weather Service.”

News updates like the above have become a common phenomenon in South Africa.

In the last few years, South Africa has witnessed several devastating veldfires that have cost the non-life insurance industry billions of Rands. Nico Esterhuizen, General Manager Insurance Risks at the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) recently mentioned that uncontrolled veldfires pose a serious risk to the general environment, human life and property, as well as livestock in farm settings. “Educating vulnerable communities and giving them the know-how of what can accelerate and increase the intensity of veldfires can assist in reducing their impact,” he said.

In a recent SAIA media release Esterhuizen shared the types of ignitions that cause veldfires, the importance of assessing the risk around our properties, topographical features that negatively affect veldfires, the importance of fire assembly points as well as what people can use to put out fires.

“It is important to have knowledge on how to recognise the weather conditions associated with high fire danger: temperature, wind speed/direction and humidity. Training staff in firefighting techniques and safety standards for burning rubbish and disposing of hot ash,” concludes Mr Esterhuizen.

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