The dangers of darkness
Written by Tunicia Phillips
The imminent threat of continued scheduled power failures throughout the country runs concurrently with a team of anxious nail biting emergency services officials, waiting.
The dangers of black outs are well illustrated in the number of fire related emergencies during these times, for various reasons that unfortunately can and should be avoided. With the chances of even more flame dependent households over the next few weeks or months, it may be a good idea to refresh our blackout safety tips.
- Use flashlights whenever possible. If you must use candles, take extreme care.
- Candles should be placed in secure candleholders, protected by a glass chimney.
- Keep candles away from any combustible materials.
- Place candles out of reach of children or pets.
- Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Avoid using candles in bedrooms and never leave candles unattended.
Matches and Lighters
- Keep all matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Shut Your Stove Off
- Make sure that all stove elements and ovens are OFF and that nothing has been left on top of the stove.
- Portable generators should be carefully placed outside to ensure that fumes do not enter the home. Install a CO400 battery powered detector in your home.
- Generators and hot exhaust gases should be kept away from combustibles.
- Store fuel for the generator outside the home. Keep the fuel in an approved container a safe distance away from your home and generator.
- Refuel the generator only after shutting it down and letting it cool. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding use
Plan your escape
- Ensure everyone in the home knows what to do in case of fire. Who is going to look after the children or older adults? Where do you want everyone to meet outside the home? Call the fire department from a neighbour’s home. Everyone should have at least one phone (not cordless) that works during a power failure.
For updates on load shedding, visit Eskom for daily schedules of power outages. In case of emergencies, call 10111