South Africa sees an increasing demand for private firefighters

A rash of fires in private homes coupled with a lack of fire trucks is leading to more home owners paying for the services of a private firefighter.

The municipal fire service is often unreliable – either they’re unable to reach burning homes in time or they arrive but are under resourced and are limited in what they can do to tackle a blaze. But formation of private firefighting companies – who can be contracted in much the same way that a security firm can – is starting to change the landscape.

The services are being used by building management, estates and private individuals, as well as being a bolt-on to some existing security services.

Private firefighting company Fire Ops SA was responding to between 3-5 incidents every day in Jo’berg back in June – its CEO Wynand Engelbrecht noting that they also attend car wrecks and offer their rescue services too.

The service of private firefighters runs in parallel to the municipal service, but Fire Ops SA alone notes it has thousands of customers on its books already. With a growing demand for the expertise of a private firefighting service this number is likely to significantly increase, as people seek to protect themselves and their property.

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