During winter, there is a high danger period for fires because of the potential overloading of power sockets and the prevalence of indoor fireplaces being used in homes.
Fire-proofing your home, especially during the colder months, remains of paramount importance.
The following tips, issued by a local security company, can definitely be of assistance in this regard.
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Firstly, having emergency numbers clearly displayed near a telephone or stored in a easily accessible place on your smartphone is key.
Check your premises and identify potential fire hazards. Thatched roofs, exposed electrics, flammable liquids, gas cylinders and the likes should all be considered as hazards and action taken to minimise the risk.
Install a smoke detector. It acts as an early warning detection service of a potential fire hazard. The detector will not pick up a naked flame but rather smoke or a smouldering fire. This is a key preventative measure. Consider linking the detector to your alarm or security system. If they are linked, your private security companies can contact the fire department on your behalf while sending out personnel to assist.
Buy fire extinguishers and make sure these are kept in sight around the house. Ensure that they are regularly serviced.
Clean your gutters regularly. Dry leaves and evergreen needles in rain gutters can easily catch fire.
Trim back any tree limbs that are within close range of your chimney and dead limbs overhanging your home to prevent them from catching fire.
Do not overload electrical sockets or run electrical cords under carpets.
If you live near a veld, consider removing any dry branches that may hang over your property wall that could catch fire should a veldfire break out. Creating a fire break to prevent sparks and embers from entering your property may also be worthwhile considering.
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Store firewood and other combustibles away from your home and keep the lids on your dustbins.
Lastly, having an evacuation plan in place is paramount. Everyone needs to know what the quickest escape route is should a fire break out and where the fire extinguishers and blankets are. Never re-enter the house for personal belongings should a fire break-out. If your clothing catches fire – stop, drop and roll. Tackle the fire only if it is safe to do so.
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