Nonesi Mall fire drill no April fool’s joke

Pictures: LILITHA BOLANI

Unsuspecting Nonesi Mall customers and business employees panicked, early this morning, after they were evacuated as the establishment performed an emergency fire drill exercise.

Centre manager Heloise Heuer, who was not at liberty to comment much on the practice run, said as part of legislation and health and safety protocols, Nonesi Mall had to have its first fire drill, stating it was something that needed to happen regularly. “We are doing it to ensure that the tenants and customers are safe and we are happy with the response from stakeholders.”

She said the mock exercise was not part of an April fool’s stunt, adding that the fire department was the first to arrive at the scene.

Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality fire chief Ricardo Davids said: “The purpose of this fire drill was for the mall management to check their readiness in case of an emergency and also to check our readiness, our shortfalls and where we can improve. We have learned from our past mistakes and this is not the last drill that we are going to do. I am satisfied with the response time.”

He added that getting customers out of the mall was a challenge as they did not understand the seriousness of the exercise. “That is why there are trained fire marshals at the mall who are there to handle such situations and help evacuate customers immediately.”

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