Q Dear Auntie Pearl, like so many of us we’ve been watching the devastating fires in the city, and it’s really got me thinking I want to know more about fire safety.
Every year these things happen, and the shacks and homes burn down so often. It’s really heartbreaking. What can we do?
How can we be more fire safe, like at our own homes?
Even if it's small things we can do.
Please let us know Auntie, you’ve always got all the answers.
From Sad About The Fire.
A Jinne, angel, so ’n bek moet mos jêm kry eksê!
With all the drama around this heartbreaking fire on Table Mountain and all the horrible damage it’s caused, we can look at it in two ways – as a place to grow and learn from, or a place to stagnate at.
You are one of those kwaai mense in a community who wants to grow and learn from situations.
Auntie salutes you and all others with your mindset!
Now, yes, Sad About The Fire, we are all kwaad about this fire which was apparently started by a vagrant who left a fire unattended.
But what should we take away from this?
Let’s start in the home.
Always keep matches and lighters out of reach of laaities. And also never leave the children alone in a room or outside with a burning fire, even if it’s a small candle.
Never overload electrical sockets or run electrical cords under carpets or blankets. If it deteriorates you won’t be able to see, and it can cause an electrical short and take flame.
Be careful when you are working with heat appliances that can ‘travel’, that is, that you can move around.
Auntie’s now talking about candles, gasstofies, dromme for fires or braais, irons, kettles and heaters.
Talk about an escape plan with your huismense in case of fire, and practise it, especially if you have small kids, oumense and animals to think about.
Think about doors and windows that you can use.
Never use flammable liquids for starting fires or to remove stains from clothing.
Know what to do when a fire breaks out – have your local fire department telephone number on your cellphone or stuck on the fridge or a cupboard.
If you see flames or smoke at home, immediately wake everyone in the house; wet towels or clothing and drape it around your face; drop to the ground and crawl so that you are under the smoke; and never open a door that is hot to the touch.
If your klere catch fire you should stop, drop and roll; know where you and the family will meet each other outside the house if you do get split up.
You should never leave fires, candles or any ‘naked’ flame unattended in the home and make sure your candles are secure and not wobbling around, near a curtain or on a table where it can easily be knocked over.
If you can, buy a fire blanket and fire extinguisher and keep it somewhere close like in the kitchen.
Never smoke in the kooi. It’s a fire hazard and it’s also mossag!
And make sure all the candles, entjies and braai fires are completely dead before you tiep.
That also goes for portable heaters, gas and electric fires, alles af before going to bed.
If you cook or make heat in winter with gas, oil or coal-burning appliances then you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide.
This gas can be poisonous, so make sure your home or the space is properly ventilated.