Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
BULAWAYO City Council has updated its Fire Brigade by-laws which will among other provisions make it a Level Three offence for home owners not to display their house numbers at their premises.
The level offences are benchmarked to the Government levels where Level Three is attracting a fine of $5 000.
In the updated by-laws the local authority has consolidated Fire Brigade policies to form one concrete document of by-laws, with fines now having been included for various offences. Among the notable offences is the issue of clearly displaying house numbers for purposes of easy identification in cases of emergencies,
“For purposes of easy identification by any member of the Service in an emergency, every owner or occupier of premises must ensure that the correct street number of the premises is displayed clearly on the street boundary of the premises in numbers at least 75 millimetres high; is visible from the street and is maintained in a legible condition at all times,” reads part of the by-laws.
Further, it is now an offence for anyone to make a bonfire or burn any rubbish or straw, shavings, standing grass or other vegetation or other flammable or combustible materials in any street, sanitary lane or thoroughfare or in any park or open space or within a distance of 15 metres of any building, whether private property or not, without first having obtained the written permission of the council.
“The council shall have the right to refuse permission in any case in which it considers the lighting of a fire for any of the purposes mentioned would endanger life or property. No person having control of any vacant piece of land shall allow grass or rubbish to accumulate in such a manner and in such quantities as may be likely to cause danger of fire to any building.
“Council may, by notice in writing, require any person to remove such materials or such grass or rubbish or to take such reasonable precautions as the council may deem necessary…If such person fails to comply with such notice the council may remove such materials or such grass or rubbish and may recover the cost of so doing from such person, in addition to which such person shall be liable to prosecution for a breach of these by-laws,” reads the by-law.
In terms of building inspections, the local authority has directed that any member of the Fire Brigade is permitted to examine any building to ensure that they adhere to all fire prevention protocols.
“Council shall have the right to specify, in particular instances, the minimum requirements relating to precautions to be taken and the appliances to be installed and maintained by the occupiers and/or owners of the premises or building.
“If, in the opinion of the council, any building or its use is a source of danger to persons or property by reason of the risk of fire, the council shall, by notice in writing, advise the owner and/or occupier of such building that the use of such building or premises is to be restricted by the total prohibition of its use until such time as it has been modified to meet the council’s requirements,” reads the by-law.