Winter is knocking and this means the chilly weather condition is also around the corner.
During winter season, temperatures are very low, and, in some instances, they register to sub-zero levels. It is everyone`s responsibility to be vigilant in the prevention of destructive fires while keeping warm.
With the brisk cold in full force, millions of South Africans rely on the convenience of heaters and imbawula (braziers) to warm up their chilly homes in formal and informal settlements.
Equally so, emergency personnel and firefighters are bracing themselves for the sporadic fire related incidences that come with the winter season.
Heaters and imbawula are the leading causes of fires in our homes and causes most of fire related deaths and damage to property during winter months.
These fires are likely to occur during overnight hours between midnight and early morning hours.
Simple safety procedures can mitigate issues or challenges with indoor heating devices.
The City`s Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) offers the following fire safety practices with the residents to save lives and properties.
Safety Tips When Using Heater
- Keep anything that can catch fire at least one metre away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
- Keep children atleast a metre away from home fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year before usage by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop embers from flying into the room.
- Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
Safety Tips When Using Imbawula
- Keep the room or house adequately ventilated.
- Take the brazier outside when preparing to sleep.
- Never leave the brazier on but always extinguish the coals with water when not in use.
- Always adhere to personal distancing
In case of Life-Threatening Emergencies, the public around the City should phone the following numbers for the attention of emergency services and disaster management.
(011) 458- 0911 : Life Threatening Ekurhuleni Emergency Line
10177 : National Toll-Free Number
112 : Cell Phone