Accidental house fires remain a serious threat to homeowners. CORTAC has assisted with a number of house fire emergencies in the past, particularly in winter. You can prevent house fires through awareness.
Heating units remain the leading cause of house fires. Follow these tips to ensure your home and family’s safety:
Use only approved heaters such as oil and panel heaters or safe paraffin stoves (where if the stove falls over, the flame is shut off immediately - www.arivi.co.za ) rather than open bar and conventional paraffin heaters. Ensure your live in domestic staff have safe heating appliances too.
Give heaters space – heaters need at least 1m clearance on all sides from furniture, curtains, bedding, people and pets.
Place heaters on a hard floor (wood, concrete or tile) or very short pile carpets. Even medium pile carpets can catch alight easily.
Never leave any heater on when you are not home and ensure your live-in domestic knows this important rule.
Make sure the flue is open before lighting a fire.
Have your chimney checked annually by a professional.
Never leave a fireplace fire unattended - make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Make sure the area around your fire is clear of all objects.
If you have young children, keep them away from fireplaces and fireplace tools and use a safety screen.
SAFETY AND EMERGENCY
Keep at least one fire extinguisher in your home and know how it works.
At the first sight of a fire, call CORTAC or the Fire Department before taking any other action.
Ensure you, your children and domestic staff know emergency contact numbers: CORTAC: 0861 267 822; Fire Department: 011 375 5911.