VKLM - Fire Brigade Services By-Law



Part IV goes into the details related to the aspects of Hazardous Substances, the requirements for registration of storage and use thereof and include operations involving hazardous substances. aspects of hazardous substances and some of the functions attached to it is dealt with through Parts IV, V, VI, and VII of the By-Law.


First... Explanation as to what hazardous substances entail.


A hazardous substance can be any substance that has one or more of the following properties:

  • Flammability
  • Explosiveness
  • Toxicity
  • Ability to oxidize
  • Ability, when comming into contact with air or water or other reactive component, to develop any of the above properties.

Hazardous substances have the potential to cause significant adverse effects, either to the environment, or to humans. 

They can be as extreme as radioactiveness or only an irritant.

Handling, transporting or working with hazardous substances can lead to a significant personal injury or illness or loss of life.

These adverse effects can occur during use, or as a proximate result of any handling or use, including inhalation or skin contact, for the purpse of this By-Law the focus will be on the immediate danger related to life and property.

Hazardous materials are categorizedand clustered into 9 various groups namely; 

Group I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII or IX  hazardous substances in terms of  section 2(1)  of the  Hazardous Substances Act, 1973;

Part 3



Hazardous Substances

This concludes Part 3 of the Fire Brigade Services By-Law awareness:-


Hazardous Substances, as well as the remainder of the parts of the By-Law.


We trust that this three part awareness will help you better understand the

By-Laws and their purpose.


Next up, some attention will be given to the Mpumalanga Business Act (1996) 

and its Regulations and give some insight as to the Do's and Do Not's related to this legislation. This will be done in the New year.




The portal for public information to residents within the Victor Khanye Municipal area on safety


Sunday, 21 January 1900

Section 24 relates to the requirement that all installations shall comply to the provisions of the National Building Regulations Act, 1977, whereby the responsibility is put to every owner of a premises to ensure that the relevant layout plans are submitted for approval to the local authority. This includes, but are not limited to additions, alterations, upgrading and/or renovation whereby bulk, above-ground and underground installations and any other structures are to be erected for the use, storage or handling of hazardous substances.


The section further details the requirements for the plan submissions and approvals, and states limitations related to approvals such as the approved plan wil only be valid for one year after approval if no construction commenced within the 12-month period.


This simply means that the owner has 12 months to start construction work. If they fail to initiate construction on the property, the plans become null and void, and resubmission must be done for re-approvals.

Section 25 then deals with the application and issuing of a certificate of registration for the premises where hazardous substances are used, handled or stored.


25(1) starts of immediately to put the limitation in that "No person may on any premises use, handle or store quantities of hazardous substances in excess of the quantities referred to below or permit them to be used, handled or stored, unless and until the person is in possession of a certificate of registration as provided for in Annexure  II to these by-laws and issued in respect of the specific quantities and appropriate devices on approved premises; Provided that if only one of the groupings referred to below is present on the premises and the applicable maximum permissible quantity is not exceeded, the provisions of this section are not applicable"


The groups of hazardous substances are then listed and explained as to its applicable contents as well as the permissible quantities that may be allowed on a premises without having to obtain a certificate of registration.


Simply put, any premises are only allowed to store, use of handle a Group II substance which are flammable to a total of 113 liters or 48 Kg.

In lay-mans terms a maximum of 48 Kg LPG are allowed on any premises without having to obtain a certifcate of registration for the product.


It must also be recorded, this is on the premises. It must be stressed that no more than 19 Kg LPG are allowed to be stored inside any building. Anything more must be stored outside or in a ventilated storage cage.


The following are extracts on capacities where no certificate of registration is required.


Flammable gases - No more than 48Kg (113 liter) (LPG, Acetylene)

Flammable liquids with a very low flash point (below 18 degrees Celsius) - 100 liter (Petrol, Diethyl ether, Ethanol)

Flammable liquids with a flash point between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius) - 420 liter (Acetone, Cyclohexane, Benzene)

Flammable liquids with a flash point between 23 and 61 degrees Celsius) - 1 100 liter (Turpentine, Isopropanol), and

Flammable liquids with a flash point between 61 and 100 degrees Celsius) - 1 100 liter (Diesel fuels, Kerosene, Jet fuel, Mineral Spirits, most lubricants)


Oxidizers (Oxidizing agents) - No more than 200 Kg


Corrosive or caustic substances vary according to their classes and if it is an acid or an alkaline and vary from a maximum of 50 Kg up to 1000 Kg.


Hazardous liquids that are not classified under any of the classes are limited to 210 liter and solids are limited to 210 Kg.


The remainder of the section sets out requirements and limitations related to the hazardous substance use, handling and/or storage thereof.


It need to be noted here that it is an offence to use, store or handle hazardous substances in excess of the totals given without having a certificate of registration, and the owner is liable for a fine of up to R 5 000, or if the transgression is severe, summoned to appear in court to explain their actions.


Section 26 deals with the supply of hazardous substances.


26(1) declares that no person may supply hazardus substances in quantities more than what is refered to in the previous section to a premises not registered.

 sub-section (2) furtehr states that supply of more quantities that is stipulated in the certificate of registration is also not allowed. And also states that reckless or negligent handling of such containers are also not allowed.


Exemptions (Section 27) provides guidance as to when or which conditions do not require a certificate of registration.

Section 28 puts the onus on the holder of a certificate of registration to ensure that it is renewed before the first working day of the month preceding the expiry date.


Section 29 deals with requirements for the temporary storage of hazardous substances. A temprary certificate of registration is limited to a maximum period of six months. The only condition whereby temprary certificates are to be considered is during construction, excavations, where the installation of a large storage vessel is unpractical. Temporary certificates will only be issued to installations where the maximum quantity of substances will not exceed 14 000 liters.


The section further sets requirements to be met for the temporary installation for which compliance must be continuous.

Section 30 sets out requirements to be followed during delivery of hazardous substances, and are self-explanatory. It sets do's and do nots while delivery is being made.


Section 31 then sets prohibitions on certain actions. This section is also self explanatory and clear.


Section 32 specifies that the premises where flammable and/or hazardous substances are used, stored and handled must display "no Smoking" signage, which is SABS approved and adheres to the requirements of SANS 1186 (Symbolic safety signage). The section furtehr specifies that failure to display and failure to adhere are deemed an offence and liable to a harsh fine.


Section 33 deals with the provision of fire fighting equipment and other mitigating agents to be installed and readily available on the premises where hazardous substances are used, stored or handled.

Due to the natural risk of incidents Section 34 puts the requirements that the occupier of any premises where hazardous substances are used, stored or handled must report any fire, accident or dumping involving hazardous substances that casued property damage, ecology environment impacts or injury to human beings or animals to the Service.


This is not only a requirement from this By-Law, but also a mandate from various environmental management legislations. In actual fact, incidents should be reported not just to the service, but to the Department responsible for environmental protection as well, as any hazardous substance spillage is a reportable incident.


Click the extracted image to the right or click here to read the full article


You can also click on this link to download the administration guidelines of incidents under the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The guideline is 219 pages long.


Section 35 gives the authority for a member of the Service who inspects any premises and suspects that a substance is hazardous, the memebr may take a sample for analysis, and provisions are put in place on the procedure thereof.

For premises where storage tanks and devices have become obsolete or no longer in use, Section 36 puts the responsibility on the owner or user to remove it or make it safe in accordance with the provisions of SANS 10089-3 (as ammended).


Non-compliance are deemed an offence and liable to either a fine of R 5 000 or summons to appear in court.


This section is preventatory in that it anticipates the possibility of a dangerous situation resulting from the risk of fire or explosion and injury if these vessels are left abandoned and unattended. The remainng fuel or hazardous substances can remain in the tank and create dangrous fumes that could ignite and casue serious fire or injuries, or if someone climbs into these vessels, can be overcome by the fumes and result in death.

Sections 37 deals with access to the storage tanks for maintenance and repairs and Section 38 specify additional requirements for the installation, erection, removal and demolition of hazardous installations over and above the requirements in legislative codes of practice.


From Section 39 to Section 42 addresses requirements for the groups of hazardous sustances and their requirements. Reference is also made to the required SANS standards for each, and is also self explanatory.

PART V - Construction of vehicles, as well as transportation and Transport Permits


As per the heading, Sections 43 to 46 deals specifically with the matters related to the Transportation of hazardous substances.

It further addresses the duties, responsibilities and skills requirements of a driver of a vehicle transporting hazardus substances under Section 44.


Section 45 indicates that Vehicles transporting hazardous substances must be registered and issued with a Transport Permit, which will certify that the vehicle have been duly inspected and found compliant with all requirements to transport hazardous substances. This transport permit is also renewable each 12 months.


Then, Section 46 provides exceptions where a transport permit are not required. again, the exemptions are broken down per group and sub class.

PART VI: Storerooms for hazardous substances


This part from Section 47 deals with the requirements for store rooms for hazardous materials, it provides what is required, how the store room should look, and what is required for the store room to be compliant for the certificate of registration. These are the minimum requirements that must be met and does not include any additional requirements that may be imposed by insurance houses.



PART VII: Spray-painting matters and Spraying Permits


This part from Section 49 deals with the requirements that must be met and complied with for the purpose of spray painting. The section makes it compulsory for any type of spray painting, that the person or operator must be in possession of a permit.


This permit is also covered within the prescripts of the Certificate of Registration.



Part VIII makes provision for the handling of animals during an emergency. What responsibility or actions the Service is entitled to in order to ensure anilals are also attended to during emergencies.


Part IX deals with penalties on contraventions of provisions within the By-Law and sets the maximum fine that can be imposed to R 5000 which is in line with provisions of the Criminal Procedures Act.


Part X deals with the administration of the By-Law, dictating the repeal of any previous By-Laws.


Part XI then becomes the description on the Annexures refered to within the By-Laws.